Sport on TV: Johnno and Jonny get their kicks at Scotland's expense

 

It was like some elaborate but perfectly executed joke. The wind and rain made it seem just like Scotland on a lovely summer's day. Jonny Wilkinson had the wrong boots on and had one penalty kick from four in the first half. England traipsed off at the interval as if they had been eating deep fried Mars bars. It was all set up for Scotland. But it was all a set-up.

England came out in the second half and played some rugby. Jonny started scoring, then they took him off and brought on the Flood of relief. And so after letting those clogged Scottish bravehearts beat right to the very last, the time came to deliver the cruel punchline and induce the flatline. With his second touch of the ball in the whole match, Chris Ashton scored with three minutes left. He didn't launch himself one-handed at the line, though. A joke's a joke but you don't want to rub it in.

"It has been a monstrously ugly game of rugby," said ITV's Nick Mullins, and that was when Mike Tindall wasn't even on the pitch. "There is a wonderful art gallery in Auckland but I suspect this match won't be going in it." Well you're no oil painting yourself, Nick. Nor is the English summariser. "Phil Vickery is already puffing out his cheeks," said Mullins, but the Raging Bull always looks like that. "I'm just trying to draw breath," said Vickery. That's like attempting to paint thin air. But some galleries are happy to flog a blank canvas for 60 grand these days.

It was a tense encounter, even getting to Jonny. "The battle of the ball," intoned the Scottish half of the summarising team, Scott Hastings. "It's almost like a bar of gold out there." Not a bar of soap then? Or a bar of Mars? And Wilkinson was certainly no Goldenballs yesterday, even if he was kicking his favourite odd-shaped accompaniments. Dan Parks did a decent job after Rory Jackson limped off early, but we know that when it comes to kickinga ball, Scotland are always likely to come up short in the end.

So Martin Johnson's big ruse came off, and England march on to face France. But beware, those dastardly French could be playing a joker of their own. They look so awful that it must be a deliberate ploy. Get ready for a bleu joke next Saturday.

* Will Robbie Savage prove as popular on Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, Friday) as he was on the football field? He was introduced as having "a reputation as the dirtiest player in the Premiership" and when he began his 'Bad boys' cha-cha-cha routine by sliding along the floor towards his partner Ola Jordan, you feared he was going to take her out completely. Still, Judge Bruno was impressed. "Nice cleavage," he said. With the long, blond locks it was hard to tell the difference between the two.

Meanwhile Audley Harrison could only fit in three days of practice in Los Angeles instead of the customary three weeks because of his training regime. Training for what, exactly? "He'll be hoping to perform as well on the dancefloor as he did in the ring," they said. Let's hope he does a little better than that.

Judge Craig described his hands as "spatulistic", and it was a good job that Chris Eubank never tried to coin that word. Audley may not float like a butterfly, but at least he got a big hand from the audience to go with the pair he already has.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Web Developer - ASP.NET, C#, MVC - London

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...

Ashdown Group: .NET Developer : ASP.NET , C# , MVC , web development

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits - see advert: Ashdown Group: .N...

Guru Careers: 3D Package Designer / 3D Designer

£25 - 30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an exceptional 3D Package Designer / 3...

Guru Careers: Interior Designer

£Competitive: Guru Careers: We are seeking a strong Middleweight / Senior Inte...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss