GREAT writers have stretched tales of heroic defeat out into sprawling epics that will last for centuries, but Leeds and England five-eighth Danny McGuire put it better than Shakespeare or Tolstoy ever could: “We were crap.”

The fog of battle has cleared over England’s abortive Rugby League World Cup campaign and McGuire was left to survey the gory remains and handle the post-mortem. 479-46-1

“We let in too many points – 32 points in a semi-final of a World Cup is crap.

“It’s a real honour to play for England but we have let ourselves down. We didn’t show as much passion as we should have done and it came back to bite us on the arse.”

Perhaps mindful of how New Zealand came back from 16 points down to beat them seven days before, England allowed their opponents to race into a 16-point lead before fighting back strongly. However, just as they looked like drawing level came a passage of play that made the Keystone Cops look co-ordinated. McGuire fumbled behind his own line, Gardner let the ball trickle between his legs and England were out.

“You need to be smarter and more skilfull.” opined McGuire. Yes, and you need to stop using moisturiser on your hands before games as well, you ponce.


• CONTINUING this week’s cheerful theme, it’s our sad duty to report that League fans are unable to shrug off the NZ debacle by saying ‘oh well, at least we’re still good at Union.’

Martin Johnson tore his hair out on the bench as England gave up penalty after penalty against Australia, slumping to a 28-14 defeat at Twickenham. 479-46-2

The Australian fans celebrated wildly, enjoying their brief moment of respite before England inevitably knock them out of a third consecutive World Cup in 2011.

Wonderkid Danny Cipriani was as sickeningly optimistic as a kids TV presenter on happy pills, saying: “Just a few tweaking things and I think the England side will be much more productive next time.”

Cipriani’s attitude must be called into question.

If he’s going to keep his place he’s going to have to work on being dull, functional and pessimistic. It’s the English way, after all.


• GOOD news at last. England may well avoid defeat against South Africa next week.

It sounds like the lazy Boks aren’t going to turn up.

“Sometimes it’s very, very difficult to motivate yourself to stand up and just go on and on and on,” yawned coach Pieter de Villiers, speaking to reporters from a luxurious four-poster bed.

“It’s always the biggest challenge in rugby to get motivated.”

At this point he rolled over and started snoring, and we had to poke him several times to wake him up. “I’m so glad the year’s done,” he murmured before dropping off again.