Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Dream Fifteen

I have complied the ultimate rugby team of players past and present, but mostly past, because if they were all present players it would be a pretty bad team compared to what it could be.

1. Loosehead Prop - Jason Leonard.
Yes, quite weirdly, the first player in this team is from England. He was the most capped player until George Gregan surpassed him in 2005, but Jason Leonard is still the most capped forward player with 114 caps for England. He won four grand slams in the six nations in 1991, 1992, 1995, and 2003, as well as part of the squad that won the 2003 rugby world cup.

2. Hooker - Sean Fitzpatrick
This was an easy choice, the Irish All Black hooker played 11 years for New Zealand, from 1986 until 1997. In 1992 he was given captaincy of the all blacks, which he held until the end of his international playing career.

3. Tighthead Prop - Os Du Randt.
This huge South African prop ( 190 cm tall and a whopping 125 kgs ) Was in both 1995 and 2007 South African teams that won the world cup. In his home country he is nick-named "Ox" for his spectacular solid build. Du Randt Hammers McCaw

4. Lock - John Eales
This Australian lock was not only known for his excellent leadership skills and lineout takes, He was also a stand out kicker and would sometimes take the conversions and penalties over the first five. He is nicknamed "nobody" because "nobodies perfect". Like Os Du Randt, John Eales has also been part of two rugby world cup winning sides in 1991 and 1999. John Eales kicks Australia to a Bledisloe cup win. (Blasted Aussies)

5. Lock - Colin Meads
"Pine Tree" may of have played eons go, but he is the player of the 20th century, whcih is even better because he's a Kiwi. Meads was an "enforcer" on the pitch. He ended Australia's halfback, Ken Catchpole, career by pulling his leg while Ken was trapped on the ground, causing him serious injury. Colin Meads has many awards named after him such as the Meads cup and has achieved many honours such as the distinguished companionship of the New Zealand order of Merit, and being introduced into the international rugby hall of fame.

6. Blindside flanker - Francois Pienaar
Pienaar captained the Springboks from his very first test match to his very last, and is regarded as one of the most successful Springbok captains. He led them to their first Rugby World Cup victory in 1995 in a dramatic final win against rivals New Zealand in extra time, despite playing with a strained calf.. South Africa were seeded ninth in the tournament, and in his acceptance speech of the Webb Ellis cup, Pienaar said that it wasn't just for the 60,000 fans watching at the stadium, but for all 43,000,000 South Africans.

7. Openside Flanker - Micheal Jones
The Iceman is named so because of his ability to keep his cool on the pitch and the amount of icepacks he needed for his injuries. He was voted the 3rd best New Zealand Rugby player o the 20th century, behind Sean Fitzpatrick and Colin Meads. In 1986 he got his first international cap, playing for Samoa. The following year he played for New Zealand until 1998. He is also famous for refusing to play on Sundays for religious reasons. He scored the first try of 1987 Rugby World Cup and the first try of the 1991 Rugby World Cup.

8. Number 8 - Zinzan Brooke
No.8 Was a difficult one to pick, but due to lack of information about Wales' Mervyn Davies it had to go to Zinzan Brooke. You'd think any forward that can slot a drop kick from half way has to be the greatest Number 8 ever. He was a good all round player, he had pace, strength, agility, and he could kick.

9. Halfback - Gareth Edwards
There were a lot of great halfbacks; Ken Catchpole, George Gregan, Pichot, but This Welshman is arguably the greatest player of all time. He was the cattylast for the Welsh golden age in rugby, a time which also produced a lot of players who almost made the list (Mervyn Davies, Scott Quinell, Phil Bennet) He scored what is widely regarded the best try ever.

10. Hugo Porta
Hugo Porta played football, and almost signed a contract with Boca Juniors, but switched to Rugby instead. He single-handedly put Argentina on the map. Up until Porta, Argentina were playing lower level rugby. He started his international career in 1971, and retired after the first Rugby World Cup. He briefly returned in 1990 for a few matches. In 1977 he led Argentine to a draw with France. And remarkably, led the pumas to a 24-13 win over Australia with 2 conversions, 1 penalty, and 3 goals - contributing a total of 18 points. And in 1985, Argentina drew 21-21 with New Zealand. Hugo Porta scored all 21 of the Puma's points in that encounter.

11. Left Wing - David Campese
Campo was a nightmare to play against, his majestic speed, agility and handling skills made him one of the best players, if not the best, of his time. in his 101 caps for the Wallabies, he scored something over 60 tries, a world record at the time. He made a name for himself with his superb break aways and ball handling skills. Together with Tim Horan he ended New Zealand's hope of winning the rugby world cup in 1991.

12. Second Five-eighths - Tim Horan
Tim Horan had skill to match his fellow Australian David Campese, He had Pace, like Campese, great ball handling skills, just like Campese. Horan was such an attacking force, always blasting holes in the opposition's defence. In his debut test match against New Zealand, he had impressed his opposite number Joe stanley so much that Joe gave Horan his jersey and told him to keep it because it was his first. He is also part of the exclusive group that has been in two Rugby World Cup winning squads.

13. Centre - Phillipe Sella
This Frenchman was as powerful as a bull and had the grace of a pianist. He recorded 111 caps for France, then a world record. He played for France in 3 World Cups, 1987, 1991, and 1995. He had an eye for the gap, and his attacking flair was a nightmare to play against, and it made you not realise how much of a defensive strength he was.

14. Right Wing - Jonah Lomu
Talking about nightmares, Jonah Lomu was at the time the youngest man to put on the black jersey. He had monumental power, and could take on 4 or 5 defenders by himself. He devastated England in 1995 by scoring 4 tries and trampling on Mike Catt along the way. Not only was he strong, but he was mighty quick. His 100 metre sprint time was an astonishing 10.8 seconds. He shares the world record for most tries scored at a rugby world cup with Bryan Habana.

15. Fullback - Serge Blanco
It was a close call between New Zealand's Christian Cullen and Wales' JPR Williams AND Scotland's Gavin Hastings, but only another Frenchman could match the attacking flair and vision of players like Phillipe Sella. Only Serge Blanco could take huge risks on the attack and pull them off, Like the 100m try he sparked against England, or the last minute try against Australia in the 1987 Rugby World Cup semi-final which he scored to bring France home 30-24. He played 93 matches for the french spanning from 1987 to 1991.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fort Hood Shooting

Fort Hood, situated in Texas, U.S.A, is the largest U.S army base. And on Friday the 6th of November ( a Thursday in America )39 year old Major Nidal Malik Hasan Shot and killed 13 people, and wounding at least 30. He was an army psychiatrist who talked to soldiers returning from war who had post-traumas and had been serving since he left high-school.
He walked into a room full of people and opened fire on everyone with 2 pistols. Every day, he heard stories about the war and how horrible it was, according to his cousins and other people who knew him. Nidal Malik Hasan thought the killings of Muslims overseas was wrong.
Further possible deaths were avoided when some soldiers shut the doors to an auditorium in which a graduation ceremony with 600 attendance was happening. He sustained multiple shot wounds but is still alive and in custody. Above all the tragedy you have to say that anyone who can wound at least 43 people by their self is a pretty impressive, especially escaping the dilemma with his life, for now anyway. Some people would call him a terrorist, but "Whoever stands by a just cause cannot possibly be called a terrorist" - Yasser Arafat
After all, he was attacking the people because he thought ( and I agree ) that the war and killing of Muslims was wrong, but his actions were a bit over the top and he took his angerout on innocent people.