Just in

Six Nation rugby/ England 10 France 53

Like no doubt several million English sports fans yesterday, I settled in front of my snug’s television screen shortly after 4.00pm in order to watch the live build-up to the rugby union clash at Twickenham Stadium between England and France and then the match itself – kick off scheduled for 4.45pm – brimming with a keen sense of anticipation and interest to see how the match would unfold and how Steve Borthwick’s England would respond to the first of its two greatest challenges during this Six Nations campaign.

Some twelve hours later, this morning the world’s internet, TV channels and radio stations are full of reports of one of the most one-sided losses in English sporting history. As you’d expect they make for some pretty sobering and wretched reading.

Watching the spectacle yesterday, about midway through the second half I succumbed to a feeling that I didn’t mind how many more points France scored – it had become a surreal nightmare.

The key issue now is how the current England coaching set up and playing squad react to such a shattering result. There’s an old adage that often seems to work for both life generally and sport – “You learn about yourself more from a reverse than you do from a win” with its attendant accessory designed to promote resolution, determination to improve and thereby make sure it doesn’t happen again: “The measure of character is how you react to a loss”.

Some 141 years ago a similar seismic England defeat led directly to the creation of one of sport’s most iconic trophies, the Ashes – played for in cricket Test Matches played between England and Australia.

On 29th August 1882 England lost one to Australia on home soil for the first time ever at the Oval by just seven runs.

The following day a young English journalist Raymond Brooks published a mock “obituary” of English cricket in The Sporting Times.

Sometimes in life you have to go down before you can go up – and, if you think about it, whenever you are at absolute rock bottom, that is the only possible way to go.

Steve Borthwick and his men might to well to remember that this week.


Avatar photo
About Derek Williams

A recently-retired actuary, the long-suffering Derek has been a Quins fan for the best part of three decades. More Posts