Thursday 07 March 1996
Sir: "Who bores wins...," the second sub-heading of your leader (4 March), seems a peculiarly dangerous assertion from however eminent a member of the "media pack". All of that pack seem hellbent on offering "fair-playmanship" only to any of England's opponents, no matter what the sport; all of them have been as boringly similar in their summaries of England's win over Scotland at Murrayfield last Saturday.
Lest it be forgotten, the match was played on Scotland's home turf, in front of an immensely passionate and partisan crowd and against a team who have demonstrated enormous flair for the running game in their previous Five Nations matches this season. What would you press pundits have had England do, play to Scotland's strengths? I don't think so really - had England done so, and lost, you would have been in the forefront of the flaying party.
Give credit where credit is due for once. England set out and beat Scotland by denying them the opportunity to play the game they wished to and at which they have proved so dangerous and successful this season. For this, and the rock-like unflappability by which they achieved their win - based around the awesome solidity of Dean Richards - they are to be congratulated not pilloried.
n n n
From J Fletcher
Sir: Your editorial (4 March) "Who bores wins, etc" must rank as the most ill-advised piece of sports writing ever seen in a non-tabloid newspaper.
It may come as a surprise to your writer to learn that there were millions of watchers, TV and at Murrayfield, who were enthralled by England's win and the manner in which it was won. Admittedly, many of them have funny noses and ears; but at least they knew a few essential truths about real rugby.
If Scotland has learnt anything from England's ability "to stop Scotland in their tracks", it might serve them well on their forthcoming tour to New Zealand. Some of the sides they meet there will need some stopping.
From Mr W Holt
Sir: My 10-year-old son plays for Saracens Minis. He has autographs of every England player who has visited the club, Jack Rowell and Will Carling took the time to chat with him, he has the shirt, he witnessed the booing at Twickenham against Western Samoa. He has received every encouragement for Rugby Union. At the end of every England match we agree "maybe the next match will be better".
"Critically destroying the inspirational elements of the sport." Agree 100 per cent. My son prefers watching rugby league and Tottenham Hotspur because there is more action. Fighting was once held up to be a very bad example for the youngsters, now its the England team en masse that is.
n n n
From W S Hatton
Sir: I have two suggestions for improving the Five Nations' Championship. Because of England's performances they should be awarded the Five Nations crown in perpetuity on condition that they do not play. Alternatively, a new category "The Concrete Boot", could be awarded to the most boring team of the series. England could also keep this forever in my opinion.
W S HATTON
From C Straiton
Sir: Thank you for your coverage of the national octopush finals (4 March). The underwater photograph of the women's competition caught a rare glimpse of the speed, skill and energy normally lost to many would-be spectators on the poolside.
However, you wrongly referred to the winning team as Cardiff Angels. They were in fact Spectrum Angels, from Guildford. They were the first female team to beat the Yorkshire Ladies in 10 years.
British Octopush Association
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