Mission Impossible? Reading Cheaters versus Leicester CheetahsHere we go again, lads, as the London Irish dream continues. Who the feck would have had the Exiles taking centre stage at Rugby HQ in the Guinness Premiership Final? Well not fecking Dean Richards, that's for sure, although the miserable fecker has already given the title to his former club. This is the man that has put the ‘Misery’ into Stephen King!
Reading South Sea Islanders, who provided Quims with a bit of a shoeing, will be tipped by the freakin' vast majority for a defeat not felt by any since the French at Dien Bien Phu. It is really that one-sided, and Richards has become the Colonel in Chief on a mission to tell every man, dog and cakeboy.
And why not. Leicester has had one feck of a strong season, finishing top of the pile with only six defeats from the total twenty-two AG premiership games. They also happen to find themselves in the European showpiece a week later in Edinburgh, with yet another fecking crack at the Heineken Cup. It's pure Vanessa Feltz level binging for shiny things, and no mistake!
Finishing top dogs, the final table showed that they had scored more points than any other fecker, which was secured on the final day of the campaign. This was due to them giving the feckless and lacklustre Brizzle a shoeing of biblical proportions, 73-3 with eleven tries to boot.
The points scored still left them slightly short on the actual tries scored with them posting less than the Exiles with sixty-two versus sixty-four and conceded more with forty against LI's thirty-six. The straws are starting to be fecking clutched here, lads!
Ah, but let's have a wee lookie here. There has been a menace about these friggin' maniacs - especially in the attack view - since Richard Cockerill took the reigns. He was confirmed as head coach in April after Heyneke Meyer was forced to return to South Africa for personal reasons, but was the man for a time before this. He has turned around the fortunes and playing style of the Leicester side.
Cockerill has played for his beloved Leicester on more than two hundred and sixty occasions at hooker and seems to be friggin’ revelling in this role. He was confirmed as ‘Coach of the Year’ after steering his side to the top of the English game. He seems to have created a rohypnol like control over his chargers, as they set about giving all comers a good hiding.
The feckers from the Midlands are now having more fun and finishing off more challengers than Fred West at a patio party. They have been white hot, and gaining momentum! When will their fecking peak end, for feck sake? Saturday would be good, especially as they don’t seem to like the AG Final.
The Leicester Cheetahs have the largest squad in the premiership to allow for the cover needed during the Autumn Internationals and Six Nations weekends, where a fecking huge volume just piss off and leave them behind. Once these friggin’ lot get back though, the competition for places is furious as a growling badger, especially in the monster pack they have. This is the key area where the Tigers bully and batter the opposition into a whimper.
They also have some girlies that can and will ask degree standard questions of any team who are defending. The five key elements that London Irish need to focus on are:
The front row, and this unit is just not an encouraging place to begin this Tigers watch. For feck sake, lads, Marcos Ayerza, George Chuter and Martin Castrogiovanni started the encounter against Barf last Saturday (which is a combined fecking cap count of over 100!). Ah, but as if that wasn't bad enough, off the bench they could bring on forty-nine capped Englishman, Julian White, and hooker, Benjamin Kayser, who has the merest of international honours with only nine French caps! Fat boy heaven here then, and prime snapshots for the FBI most wanted posters, to be sure.
With Corry gone, there happens to be the almighty Tom Croft in the Leicester lock slot, and he loves a good slot this lad. Even Clark Kent himself has a pair of fecking ‘Tom Croft’ pyjamas to roll on prior to his power nap. How the feck this young nugget is not on the flight to South Africa is a debate being fuelled by his every game, as he gets stuck into all takers. Second row, back row, or even fecking death row, this man can influence a game.
You lose the likes of England International, Toby Flood, and a Springbok in Derick Hougaard, so give Sam Vesty a fecking lash at 10. What does he do? Go and become the best fly half to finish the season for any of the top sides. Jesus, this man has shown himself to be more versatile in all positions, only bettered by an Amsterdam bendy blonde! The Not-Nots must keep the Vesty quiet, or the game will get away from them very quickly.
Inside the Vesty is the French fella that has pretty much fecked his chances of a Christmas Card from Mr and Mrs Ellis. While the Lion yawns and stretches his paws, this fecker is going about the business of kicking goals and snatching trys to close out the biggest of friggin’ games. Julien Dupuy may well be bidding a ‘Bon Voyage’ come the season close to wear the minging shirts of the Stade in Paris, but he has made a mark or two on the English game. Barf forget to even think about him as they raced, chicken-minus-cranium-like, by-passing the wee man, leaving him to skip his way to the semi-final clinching score at the Crisp Bowl.
Finally, at full back lies the grace and flair of the one of the most destructive runners in the modern era. The skipper of the side, Geordan Murphy has become the Francis Bacon of this fine game, as he forms beautiful running lines and has a passing ability with an artistic feel to its very thought and delivery. Where there’s the tiniest of gaps, the Smurf will be there to exploit it, and as for gapping holes, well he likes to be right up there in them, but not in a homo way. He is definitely Spar shop hoody dangerous at all times, this fecker.
Of course, these are but a few of the elements and players that will ensure that a sleepless night in Sunbury on Friday is maintained. They have a back row of experience, wit, humour, girth and fecking lawyers of the rugby laws. Craig Newby is a right fecking pain in the loose and really likes the contact areas in both attack and defence. Former Falcon, Ben Woods and the ever improving Jordan Crane will battle, fight and look to make ground until the fecking cows hop-scotch to the tune of ‘Donald where’s ya troosers’, or pulled to make way for another fecking international flanker in the form of Lewis Moody! Oh, and Ben Kay, playing his best rugby for fifty-three years is Croft's hug buddy in the second row.
The back three could be a combination of Alesana Tuilagi, fresh from his ASBO, the super intelligent and dangerous former AB, Scott Hamilton, and Irish lad, Johne Murphy, to compliment the skipper. Oh, and by feck you have Tom Varndell on the bench too!
Please tell me there is a God, and he is supping a pint of the Black stuff with a jig in his heart and a song on his tongue and rest the fecker Aaron Mauger for the Heiney!! The All Black legend could score in a monastery. Still, if unavailable, then Dan Hipkiss will definitely be a threat and the chunk of man meat in the formidable shape of Ayoola Erinle will offer different options.
In total, I make that around four thousand, six hundred and three caps for twenty nations on the field or bench! I just hope they are made to wear all the feckers during the eighty minutes!
So is it worth turning up as an Exile? Damned fecking straight it is! It’s a one off, and the Tigers are not exactly comfortable with this format of the league. They have found the Guinness Premiership Final a place to lick their wounds more often than not over recent years. This is the fifth time in as many years that the biggest club in English rugby find themselves chasing the title.
The previous four have provided just the one fecker to place in the trophy room at Welfare Road when they gave the perennial All Black level chokers, Gloucester, a right mullering. The fecking Pests twice and the Sale Sharks have all come to this party and left with the choice present, leaving the Leicester outfit to contemplate what could have been.
Obviously, this is not fecking good for the Not-Nots as the Tigers will be focussed on ending their personal Twickenham nightmares, and righting what they will consider a few friggin’ wrongs. Lucy the latex bed companion will not be as pumped as these feckers come the kick off.
Oh, and add to that their drive, the need to ‘do it for Martin’ bollocks! Martin Corry, the Tigers legend, is giving it the big offski after this season. He has more medals than the British Legion, but has a hugely frustrating season with the lack of games due to injury and suspension. He will take his Bar Managers role in the new stand very seriously next term, I am sure.
And of course this will be a tough fecking ask of the smallest squad in the top flight, but one that will definitely be achievable in the eyes of the Catt/Booth combo, and lead by Big Bob.
There are also positives for Irish, as the head to head encounters this term have not wielded any real scoreboard feckings. The 24-22 loss at Welfare Road was after a three try apiece encounter, with Hewat missing the final conversion to draw the friggin’ game.
At the Madstad, Leicester went out and battered their hosts in all departments, which established a 28-11 lead. Game over as far as they were concerned until the friggin’ power of the Steff was realised and Irish dragged the encounter into a Jock-tight twitcher towards the end, missing out in the 31-28 score line. The combined try count for these two matches left Irish with eight tries to the Tigers six. This shows that there are real fecking ways to get across the whitewash and the Irish know how the feck to do it. But they must stop getting fecking caught by the Referee, sir!
The real danger for the Not-Nots is to allow Leicester to get off to a fast start and get the scoreboard ticking. There has been too many occasions where the opposition have been given one feck of a lead into half time by LI. Okay, catch up rugby has been achieved through the course of the season by the extremely fit Exiles side, but this is a final. Experience at this level and a game winning mentality throughout the Tigers ranks would snuff out any comeback if a decent lead were to be established.
The Irish pack has to play far beyond themselves and match the favourites at every turn, be it by flexing the fecking laws! The Tigers will slow any Irish attacking ball to a friggin’ toddler knee crawl, as is their want and way, as they understand the pace that is available to LI. London Irish must counter this by getting quick ball from the back rowers in the contact area and look to put fecking width on it quickly. On Tigers ball, then it needs to be slowed to a toddler crawl!
Now the ‘Ifs’.
If The Exiles can keep the score line tight in the first twenty minutes and maintain a pervert-esque touching distance by half time, the media aligned impossible will be on.
If they can match the Tigers intensity at the breakdown, and turn a few bits of ball over, then the girls will also think the title can be taken.
It is a two horse fecking race where the favourite may lose 5% in the tackle thinking rude thoughts about Edinburgh. This is the last game of a long season for the Irish. Hit them hard and make them think about inclusion at Murrayfield rather than confrontation at HQ.
By the way, if it rains, the London Irish lads will have to go Somme mentality and get the trenches as deep as fecking possible, because the pack will go plough-like ever forwards towards the Irish try line.
Let the fecking battle commence on Saturday.
-- Master Scribe