Rugby and the art of running

I watched the rugby this weekend. There were two highlights for me.

The first was the mighty run by Duhan van der Merwe. Golden as a god, he pounded down the pitch for over 50 metres, brushing off attempts to stop him. As he strode, every stride brought the Calcutta Cup closer for Scotland. And that cup never slipped away. Scotland played brilliantly, ensuring that for the first time in over fifty years, England has lost three Calcutta Cups in a row.

The second highlight was watching Ange Capuozzo’s heroic try for Italy. Capuozzo is only just over 5ft 8in, and weighs on the edge of 70kg (about 30kg less than what I have read is the average weight for a European international rugby player). Today Italy were up against big strong France, who were out to win. They did win, but only just. The magic went to Capuozzo’s try. Slippery as mercury, he and the ball flew towards the tiniest of gaps on the extreme of the try line. And the gap was closing fast, a huge French player charging to pluck him from the air – but Capuozzo, light as lightning, flashed through.

Here’s a short video (under five minutes) of the highlights from the Italy/France game, including Capuozzo’s try

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023

Some thoughts in the weeks before the 2012 Olympics

Another piece from the early days of The Phraser. This one is my impression of London and the ‘mood’ before the 2012 Olympics. I’ve tidied it slightly but only to shorten a few of sentences.

The Phraser

London Olympics 2012 London Olympics 2012

London’s high performance summer is about to begin. A Henman Hill mood carpets the capital…surprise at having got this far and anxiety about what happens next.

The weather is damp and dreadful – an oppression of rain – a familiar blanket for a public keeping its chin up, and disregarding all logistical odds. This is what Londoners understand – how to create miracles on a soggy island.

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