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About ljkeane

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  1. UK Politics Unexpected Election edition

    Tim Farron's made clear he doesn't think gay sex is a sin. Which is good but it's probably not ideal that it was enough of a question mark that he had to make a statement to clarify that.
  2. April Reads: What, fool, are you reading?!?

    I just finished A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. Similar to her first book in that despite some trapping of a bigger sory it's very focused on the relationships between the characters.I liked it quite a lot actually, it's very optimistic despite some dark elements.
  3. ‘Outlaw King’: Robert The Bruce Scottish Epic

    Presumably this'll feature the Bruces pillaging their way around Ireland then.
  4. UK Politics Unexpected Election edition

    So the Labour Party political broadcast was rubbish. Anything which features kids asking questions to make a point does my head in. This isn't go to go well.
  5. Rugby IV - Striking Hookers Are Back In Fashion

    Somewhat odd squad selected by Jones to go to Argentina. He's gutted the under 20's but still taken all the senior players left out of the Lions tour. If he wants to get the younger players up to speed in time to make the 2019 World Cup then I suppose he needs to get them involved now but it's a slightly strange way to go about. The depth at flanker behind Robshaw and Haskell is an issue so I can see why he'd want to look at Underhill and, in particular, the Curry's who look real talents but why take all three of Robshaw, Haskell and Wood as well for a 2 game series? I don't get Isiekwe going either, he looks a good prospect but not getting picked for England after 59 minutes of senior rugby good and it's not like second row is a problem area. In the backs I'll be interested to see how Cokanasiga and Earle go. Cokanasiga's massive and quick which isn't a bad start and Earle was quality at the Junior World Cup a couple of years ago before he picked up some injuries so it'd be good to see him kick on. I'm not sure I see the point of picking Francis, he's ok but he's less talented than Farrell, Slade and Mallinder (Devoto too for that matter) so as I squad player I'm not sure what he adds. Maunder getting picked isn't a good sign for Robson and Spencer. ETA: Not a fan of picking Solomona. He's a good player but, like Hughes, we really don't need to be poaching players.
  6. April Reads: What, fool, are you reading?!?

    I liked the first one, it wasn't notably well written or original but it was fun. It's gone downhill from there and I really didn't like some of the religious stuff in the third book. I haven't read the latest one yet.
  7. Rugby IV - Striking Hookers Are Back In Fashion

    It's not like Wales and Ireland have been the models of consistency (England either if you look back any further than the last 2 seasons). Alright Scotland got torn apart by England in midfield at Twickenham and Glasgow struggled against Sarries but you're talking about the 2 best sides in the respective competitions away from home. It happens. It didn't really have much to do with the second rows either for that matter. The inconsistency of the Welsh players for club and country is fairly obvious but why doesn't the Irish getting comprehensively outplayed in the first half at Murrayfield or absolutely mullered by Argentina at the World Cup playing a wide, wide game similar to how the All Blacks are likely to play discount them? I'm not saying every Scottish player should make the cut but every Scottish player shouldn't be missing out on the tight calls either.
  8. Rugby IV - Striking Hookers Are Back In Fashion

    I disagree actually. One of the big problems with the Lions tour is bringing together the squad in a short space of time and showing some fairly clear favouritism this early in the piece really doesn't help. You can make a case for each of the Welsh players selected, you don't get picked for a Lions tour if you're a bad player, but by my count there are 3 Welsh players who were clear cut selections (Webb, Williams and Tipuric) and even Faletau and Jones haven't been in great form. Moriarty, Halfpenny, Davies and Biggar were very marginal calls for me who have all made the cut while no borderline Scottish player makes it in when there's any question mark. It just isn't a good look. For example I'm not convinced Watson does miss out in a position of strength, 6/8 is pretty well covered but openside it a bit of a concern for me. You've got Tipuric, then there's O'Brien who's an injury concern and Warburton who's looked miles better at 6 than 7 recently. The case for taking Moriarty who covers 6/8 ahead of Watson or at least a utility backrow who covers 6/7 like Haskell, Robshaw or Barclay isn't very strong in my opinion. On top of that Russell's been playing better than Biggar for a while, the Gray brothers are both better than Lawes and Henderson at the moment for me, Visser, Maitland and the Scottish centres all have cases to be better than guys who have made the cut. I'm not saying they should all go but every Scottish player seems to have missed out on the marginal calls. Halfpenny's the worst call for me. I just don't see what he offers with Farrell and Sexton both likely to start and Biggar the back up 10 you don't need his kicking and he isn't anywhere near making the back three if he's not kicking. I don't like picking Biggar, you aren't beating the All Blacks with a 10 that conservative, but I suppose the concern is the options are, as you said, Russell, Ford and Jackson who could all be seen as a bit flakey. Pretty negative call though and unnecessarily so with your 3rd choice 10. Payne's a very solid defensive 13 which is probably why he makes the cut, he also covers 15 to a high standard. I can see why you'd pick him but again it's a bit negative. They beat Ireland and Wales in the Six Nations and were the best European side at the World Cup. What more do they have to do?
  9. Rugby IV - Striking Hookers Are Back In Fashion

    Also while I'm posting on the rugby thread Sanzaar also recently announced they're cutting 3 sides from Super rugby and, presumably, changing the format as well. It's the right call for me, the current format is terrible and outside of the New Zealand conference there's clearly too many flat out poor sides. I know it's causing some consternation but I think going to 4 Australian sides is probably the way to go, they don't have the domestic players base to support 5 teams and the standard in the Australian conference this year is pretty bad. Keeping the Jaguares is also the right call for me, they had some teething problems last year but you'd have to think they're on the path to being a good team. Going to 4 South African sides seems a bit harsh to me though. The Kings clearly have to go but after a bad few years I have to say the South African conference looks better than it has for a while. The Lions, Stormers and Sharks are reasonably good teams and while I wouldn't call the Cheetahs or Bulls good they've both at least got some talent and the potential to cause good sides problems. Keeping the Sunwolves is pretty clearly a commercial decision.
  10. Rugby IV - Striking Hookers Are Back In Fashion

    The Lions squad Er, that's really not great. It's not quite as bad as some of the 'leaked' squads but 12 Welsh players and 2 Scottish? More Welsh than Irish as well. By my count 5 or 6 of the Welsh players are fairly marginal calls as well. It's hard to see that as anything but Gatland (and maybe Howley and Jenkins too) being biased towards the Welsh players. It doesn't set a great tone to the start of the tour given that was a bit of a criticism last time out as well (probably with less justification with Wales being relatively stronger). Regarding the actual players picked I suppose the real bolters are Sinckler, Te'o and Moriarty. Sinckler's a gamble but with Nel injured they were always likely to have to go with a relatively unproven 3rd tighthead, the option were probably Sinckler or Ryan and Sinckler does offer the potential for more impact off the bench. I'm not sure I'd have picked Te'o but if Gatland wanted a crash ball centre he's probably looked the best of the Six Nations options, Dunbar probably hurt his chances his defence in the Twickenham game. Moriarty's the odd choice, I quite like him as a player but it's hard to see what he brings ahead of a number of players being left behind. Other than that the second row selection stands out to me as being a bit odd. It's probably been talked up as the most competitive position but I have to say I'm fairly surprised they've gone with 3 guys I'd have classified as outside bets in Lawes, Henderson and Kruis. Kruis has just come back from injury, I like Henderson but he wasn't making the starting lineup for Ireland for most of the Six Nations and while Lawes has been playing well he's the 4th best English lock for me. You can make an argument for each of them, Kruis especially on his pre injury form and as a lineout technician, but I'm not sure about taking all 3. If I was Launchbury (player of the Six Nations for me), Jonny Gray or even Richie Gray and Donnacha Ryan I'd be fairly pissed off.
  11. Speaking of pizza I was thinking of ordering one tonight so rather than doing any work I've been browsing the website of a major pizza delivery company. They've got quite prominently displayed the food hygiene rating of the local store; 3 out of 5 'generally satisfactory'. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement. I'm not sure 'we're not that bad on the hygiene front' is a message I'd been promoting if I was, you know, trying to sell food. Having said that I'm probably still going to order a pizza from them.
  12. At least we should finally get rid of Corbyn after the inevitable disastrous election results.
  13. Star Wars: Episode VIII predictions

    True but at least there was sufficient ambiguity that you could hand wave it a bit and let it go. People watching the Starkiller base fire on planets in a different solar system with the naked eye was so bad you couldn't ignore it.
  14. Star Wars: Episode VIII predictions

    TFA is massively derivative HP. Let it go. Like Scot I also hated it making space feel so small. Hopefully both things are better in The Last Jedi.