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Sam Burgess breaks cheekbone, plays on


Prop lays into fullback with big shot


Brian O'Driscoll Breakdown Masterclass


Streaker starts mass brawl after tackle


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


The Human Hurdle Attempt


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chris Ashton dives into the record books as England punish Italy

Chris Ashton dives into the record books as England punish Italy

Swan-diving sensation Chris Ashton stole the show this weekend, becoming the first ever English player to score four tries in a Six Nations match and helping England crush Italy by 59 points to 13.

It was an impressive display from Martin Johnsons men and the win brings England another step closer to a Grand Slam. Red Rose fans will take a lot of encouragement from the confident and convincing performances from half-backs Toby Flood and Ben Youngs, whilst James Haskell was destructive in the loose.

Italy, on the other hand, looked a shadow of the side that ran Ireland to the wire last week, with weak tackling and poor discipline costing the Azzurri dearly.

Ashtons first score came two minutes into the game as Flood ghosted through a large gap, before fixing the last-man and feeding Ashton for a type of score that is becoming a familiar routine for gleeful England fans.

Mirco Bergamasco kicked two penalties for the visitors, but the feisty Italians were unable to prevent further scores from Ashton, Mike Tindall, and winger Mark Cueto.

Fabio Ongaro claimed a consolation score for the visitors, but tries from Danny Care, the explosive Haskell, and two more for Ashton convincingly sealed Johnsons Italian job.

After the game, England manager Johnson said: Chris is a finisher. We won't get too many chances to score the next time we play here [against France on 26 February] but we did what we needed to do and that was play well and execute our plans.

Italian coach Nick Mallet said: "Our line-out didn't function at all. It was a very poor day at the office for Italy. The massive difference between the two teams was the speed, the speed of Ashton, Cueto, Care and Youngs.

"England played well but a lot of them were off Italian mistakes, they were helped by some poor defence by my players," he added.

When asked about why he continues to celebrate with a flamboyant dive, Ashton said: "I knew [Johnson] would be a bit annoyed - the lads said he would be - so I thought I'd do it."


Time: 04:58
Credit: BBC

Posted at 11:44 am | 80 comments

Viewing 80 comments

Anonymous February 13, 2011 12:15 pm

"Swan diving"?!? That's not very rugby-like, is it?

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GF February 13, 2011 12:19 pm

Yeah like Shane Williams and his gay little dives..

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samitarugby February 13, 2011 12:42 pm

This debate about Ashton's diving seems to be going on everywhere. The issue I had with it yesterday in the italy game is that in my opinion it showed an extreme lack of disrepect for the opposing team especially if you're troncing them by that much. Doing it once is fine, but do it continously is taking the piss and you could see the italian players reacting badly to it.

I just hope one day he drops the ball in a crucial game, costing him dearly!

As for the game, being an italy supporter we had a shocker of a game and all credit goes to england.

Poor Parisse!

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Flipje February 13, 2011 12:42 pm

Few comments:

1/ Is there still a debate Wilko vs Flood???? Probably not....

2/ Credit to MJ....cost him 2 years to find a team but his perseverance paid.

3/ Foden/Cueto/Ashton....what else....impressive

4/ Ashton: I am impressed by his availability all around the field. What a presence. Still could make himself more popular if he stopped his disrecpectful dive celebration.

5/ Wilko future??? Frankly....the only weak point I believed is Tindall (I found Hape did improved compared to the Welsh game). So Wilko as a first center otherwise....

6/The front rows, did the job without forcing....will wait to see them vs the French and in Ireland.

7/ Great refereeing from Joubert (hope Rolland/Poite watched)

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Laz February 13, 2011 12:43 pm

Ashton is becoming the ultimate try poacher. What more could you want really. Good gas and an eye for the line. England seem to be building nicely towards the world cup.

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 12:47 pm

I dont like chris ashton.

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RedYeti February 13, 2011 12:55 pm

Chris Ashton is a cheeky bugger, but I think the team needs someone with character and confidence and a bit of arrogance. He knows he's good, and he deserves to celebrate a bit. He isn't disrespecting the opposition, he is just ecstatic about playing and scoring for his country. He dived for his first and last tries: the first obviously being pretty great for him to score, and the last taking him into the record books (as it means he is the only English player to score 4 tries in the 6 Nations, and the only English player since 1914 to score 4 tries in the 5 Nations, and when added to his 2 tries last match, means he is joint top try scorer for a tournament. Pretty sure he might break that one ;)

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 1:12 pm

Just when i was starting to more a less respect the english team, ashton comes along... What a cheeky fuck, tbh i hope he gets owned in a nice rib breaker

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 1:23 pm

Ashton was quickly made anonymous against SA last year. He just needs a god hard tackle on him and he'll stop crowing like a proud cock.

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orange February 13, 2011 1:25 pm

Well, if things don't work out for Ashton in England, he could always have a career in the ITM Cup with the showmanship he's got. He and Masaga can have dainty little celebration contests.

Funny to see English supporters (at least the ones at the bar I was at and the English commentators) defend Ashton...or at least sweep his showboating under the rug by changing the conversation to how talented he is.

And he is talented, don't get me wrong. He does what a lot of wingers, myself included many times, fail to do - which is come in field and take an active part in the game. That's the sign of a good wing, and Ashton is certainly proving himself to be just that. I just think he's a bit of a cunt, too.

Tough luck, Italy. Same for Scotland. Both sides just looked like they don't believe in themselves enough to really go for it.

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Disco February 13, 2011 1:27 pm

My only issue with the Ashton swan-dive is that he doesn't seem to have the balls to pull off his own trick.

Ashton's dive is slightly different to Williams'. Williams tends to employ the two-foot take-off technique as though he's diving into a swimming pool whereas Ashton favours a bodyslam style more akin to WWF wrestlers. What bugs me about Ashton's adopted technique is that he tends to drop the knee late on in the dive in order to cushion the impact - a sure sign of a lack of confidence and fear of being hurt.

Nobody ever complained about Joe Rokococo or Ben Cohen diving like this - some refs have complained about Shane Williams - so why all this focus on Ashton's somewhat lame attempts at replicating what has already been done by so many over the years.

Ashton is not and, in my opinion, will never be a legend of the game. Not because he dives like a 'tapette', but because he's an all out finisher with suspect defence (see his defense against South Africa, New Zealand in the autumn). In order to step up to legendary status, he would have to get involved more in creating opportunities and getting his side out of jail rather than simply specializing in rubbing salt in the wound.

Wingers that spring to mind who have worked (and occasionally swan-dived) their way to legendary status by being more than just finishers include JJ Williams, David Campese, Tana Umaga, Philippe Sella, Shane Williams and Jonah.

Pitt the skills of any of these players against those shown thusfar by Chris Ashton and the England winger ceases to soar and comes crashing down like a lead baloon.

All this chat about the Australia game (and Ashton's try in particular) is a bit silly, in my opinion. For years I've been going out on colossal mid-week party sessions (between weekend games) with the Southern Hemisphere sides whenever they come over to France for their autumn vacation while the NH sides are thrashing it out on the training pitch, trying to find the right strategy to beat a bunch of hungover antipodeans, taking a break at the end of a long, hard season.

Any manager or pundit who thinks a result against a SH side in the autumn is reason for confidence is delusional.

This said, England just thrashed one of the greatest football nations on earth which is more than the likes of Rooney and Lampard will ever be able to claim. Hats off to them.

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 1:30 pm

HAHA what can i say. Aston's a genius really, knows how to rile the crowds and get people talking, this is what england need, to be talked abut again, and to be talked about for the right reasons, scoring tries.
Looks like wilko has been pushed to the back seat, the 'flood' gates have opened. However i must agree with an earlier comment, even though tindall went to the same school that Im at and so i should support him, i think it should be wilko 12 and hape 13

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 1:50 pm

Typical English arrogance. Two moderate games against two very poor teams and they think they will win everything. Bring on the French and the Irish.

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M February 13, 2011 2:02 pm

What i enjoy is Ashton is clearly enjoying himself, enjoying rugby, and too much enjoyment has been lost recently

He's a bit arrogant, but so is Mccaw, botha etc.. if your better than the rest, you've got the right to be a bit arrogant

Players like Ashton get people talking, and inspire young people to get into the game, which can only be a good thing

All the naysayers need to sit back, have a beer, and just enjoy the games, not everything has to be critisiced

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F February 13, 2011 2:07 pm

I think the english have something to cheer about.. its been a long LONG time since they have played with this kind of creativity/enthusiasm. Players realising that structure can be left behind and a bit of heads up rugby wins games. You can't deny that youngs, flood (especially), cole, ashton, cueto and foden are all becoming Test standard players (in the NH and against Aus anyway). Yeah alright maybe Ashton is being a bit of a cock but he's happy scoring tries for his nation, Im sure Im not the only one to say Im very jealous of his job. If it winds you up, take it on the chin shake it off and carry on watching some finally entertaining NH rugby.

For the future as rugby becomes more immersed in professionalism I believe this kind of thing will be more and more common.

Im from the NH.

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F February 13, 2011 2:13 pm

p.s. Love Hape's footwork just before offloading to Asthon.

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Jimbo February 13, 2011 2:50 pm

How any SH supporter can comment on Swan diving etc is beyond me.

RD could we please have a 'mixed tape' of all the celebrations that take place in other rugby competitions please?

Who was it commented and compared Ashton to Williams? Did you watch last weeks game, ENGLAND V WALES... obviously not! And if you're on about legends of the game Williams is hardly up their for his defence :) (He is awesome though and I'd pay to watch and I'm English)

p.s. ask yourself this...if this was one of your countrymen would you seriously complain about the dive?

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 3:33 pm

He personifies why everyone hates england. Smug & arrogant. Fair enough williams dives but the last time i can remember him diving was after that epic fiji try?

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 3:33 pm

England have a great team at last.

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H February 13, 2011 3:53 pm

When have an English team ever been smug or arrogant? Give me one other example? Stating the truth is not arrogance. Like Ben Youngs is (imo) the best if not top two scrum halves in the world.

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Jonno February 13, 2011 3:59 pm

all you bitching about Ashton are just bitter cause you aren't english. byrne, ferris, trihn duc (?) parrise all play with swagger but no one cares about that. in the interview after the match, yeah he seemed cheeky but get the fuck over yourselves

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Rowan DeBues February 13, 2011 4:01 pm

Typical English arrogance? More like typical international crucifixion! When in the comments above that anonymous was an Englishman talking about England winning everything? I cringe every time I see a bloody idiot in the media say "England Grand Slam Hopes Rise" or anything like that.

As for Ashton's dive, how many other players do that?! Loads, I don't understand how multiple guys can do it fine, then when he does it all of a sudden there is a media frenzy...

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hmmmm February 13, 2011 5:39 pm

I think the Anonymous is on to something...it's simply just that English, being England, can't seem to celebrate over-the-top-like or else they'll be called arrogant and smug.

It's just the way the world works; sorry.

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H February 13, 2011 5:59 pm

All it is, is a bit of passion. Have you seen the aussie's celebrate? You have no idea, sorry.

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Guy February 13, 2011 6:20 pm

Wonderfull to see how happy everybody was for Cueto, after scoring his first try in like 18 months or something

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 6:29 pm

put the wilko hit up

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 6:30 pm

everyone should stop hating on the whole swan-dive thing, and stop jumping on the 'OMG its disrespectful' band wagon. what's so disrespectful about it? if Italy can't be arsed to tackle properly and let breaks like that occur, then Ashton, in scoring, as far as i'm concerned can do whatever the hell he wants to celebrate.

As Jeremy Guscott said, there should be no problem with it until he actually drops the ball or something, then maybe he should think twice about doing it.

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 6:42 pm

I you guys really so boring and sad to get offended by a dive and then discuss it in depth!! Get a life you absalute losers! Well played England

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 6:47 pm

So what, he every once in a while dives for the try?

Rocokoco is fames for his stylish dives. Masaga... dont get me started. Ive even seen footage of a south african doing a backflip. Is swan diving really the issue?

Let the man celebrate.
As long and he doesnt go to the opponents and mock them or throw the ball at them or makes these NFL-like celebration that takes 30 seconds, let the man have a bit of fun. Try, celebrate, no harm done.

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pat February 13, 2011 6:51 pm

Cueto's try: team celebrates.

Ashton's swan-dive tries: celebrates on his own as if he were the only one involed.

There's respectability in keeping your composure.

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 7:15 pm

Disco, its a try celebration, not an olympic dive. Shut the fuck up.

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 7:32 pm

Disco, you are a complete idiot. From what you said it sounds like you clearly didn't watch ashton whilst on tour in Australia last summer.

As for you bullshit about the southern hemisphere teams having a 'long, tough season' in comparison to the NH, I'm starting to doubt whether or not you actually watch rugby.

If you want to pretend that SH teams come here and don't train, but just turn up and win and that you somehow are buddies with them all and drink with them all the time whilst they are here, that's fine. Just don't expect anybody to believe your shite.

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A Welsh Man February 13, 2011 7:41 pm

Yet to see him create anything. He's like the Gary Lineker of rugby

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Rich_W February 13, 2011 8:43 pm

When an islander makes a high tackle

"Typical Islander, always playing dirty"

When a Frenchman goes down hurt

"Typical french, always feigning injury"

When NZ wine a turnover "cheating"

When SA tackle hard "thuggery"

When England start winning matches "Arrogant"

yawn...


Also for everyone saying they dont like Ashton, have you seen any interviews with him?! Personally i think he seems like a nice guy, see his interview with Dylan Hartley that is on this site. I would rather he didn't do the dive but in no way does that define him as a person.

And on a side side note, England Vs France is going to be huge, if we win I am booking my ticket to Ireland for (hopefully) the grand slam decider. Does that make me arrogant?

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BlahBlah February 13, 2011 8:44 pm

This is getting to be like the late 90s/early 2000s, when England players and fans reputations were about being arrogant, obnoxious and bad winners. Then they went through about 7 years of not being very good and therefore, being more respectful. Now they've got a good team and it's back to tw@t.

Let's face it - it's in the English character to be an unsporting winner.

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Colombes February 13, 2011 9:43 pm

Great show by england!
Jonno seems to have found his team. the back 3: foden - ashton - cueto is very dynamic and play very directly.

Some of the actions come from great mistakes by the italian defence but england have the rugby power to create theses holes and trouble any defence. a personal prize for flood, he's becoming consistent and is actually a better playmaker than wilko.

Now, for sure, this 6 nations decider will be a crunch against the froggies.
for me, england are a bit favorites regarding to their italian "massacre" but hard to guess the winner. France have some problems in defence but are still lethal in attack. can't wait for the ashton - medard contest.

oh and concerning ashton "swan dives", hard to blame him as he loves to score try for england, but, yes, not a very rugby reaction. i think he said after Cardiff that he did it "by excitation" and he would try to change his behaviour... he seems a bit amnesic so ;) ? Whatever, smalll debate

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martin-offload February 13, 2011 10:52 pm

Why does everyone care so much about his dive? Ashton is a finisher out and out and his try scoring record at every level is exemplary. I cannot remember Howlett really setting anyone up, but he has 50 international tries! Foden and Ashton bring fun and laughter into the English camp and have made them a better team for it. England were clinical and that is an important trait in closer games

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 11:09 pm

why would u be surprised about ashton celebration? he represents exactly what worldwide people think about english people: cocky, disrespectful, arrogant.

just look at the italian reaction on the 1st try, everything is summarized. a big and hard tackle will may calm him :)

that said, england is improving very well with good backs but their players should behave better or they'll become a great team of ... footballers

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Tom February 13, 2011 11:15 pm

I'm an Aussie, and I have absolutley no problem with Ashton swan diving.
It's fine, he's enjying scoring a try, why wouldn't he show his enjoyment? Teams that play with passion and have fun doing it are usually the better teams. It's a sign of confidence in your ability and also, just generally, why wouldn't you enjoy scoring?

That said, this is a big victory, but come on, it's only Italy.

And this is dumb :

"As for you bullshit about the southern hemisphere teams having a 'long, tough season' in comparison to the NH, I'm starting to doubt whether or not you actually watch rugby. "

This is massivley overhyped.
Only Australia has a lack of pro rugby.
South africa and NZ players have their own domestic comps, their provincial comps and international level.
They both attempt to manage their players, but they still have very long, very hard seasons.
The Saffers in particular.
If they let them a top SA player could easily have 50 games a season.
For the benefit of their players they simply don't let it go that far.

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 11:16 pm

"they went through about 7 years of not being very good and therefore, being more respectful. Now they've got a good team and it's back to tw@t."
What are you talking about, you special, special person. The English are one of the few remaining sides that don't befoul the opposing sides or players before or after the game.
Ashton craves try's, have you seen his face when he scores? That dive is just him loving the moment. Imho, he can do what the f**k he likes, because he's having the time of his life.
Go back to your caravan.

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 11:51 pm

England have yet to play France or Ireland. You guys are toning yourselves up big time. Looking forward to the fall. You've played no one yet...

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 11:53 pm

'toning' should be 'setting'......damn phone

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good grief February 13, 2011 11:57 pm

Befoul...besmirch?

Be-be-be-who knows...

He can't be bothered, Tom, he's too busy thinking of clever insults relating people with whom he disagrees to poor folk living in caravans.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 12:52 am

If the opposition feel that Ashton's antics are disrespectful. Then they are disrespectful. Great game on his part and he seems to be a good joker in the squad etc... but please leave the show boat on SoccerAM!!!

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 1:56 am

JW might not look like he's about to take Floods jersey but he still slots his kicks and makes his tackles! I'm sure MJ is happy to have a good backup 10

RD, pls make a videos of JW tackles, even in the last 2 games you should have enough for a short vid.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 5:56 am

"Let's face it - it's in the English character to be an unsporting winner."

Add to that a miserable, self-pitying loser. Two states that the English swing wildly between.

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katman February 14, 2011 7:45 am

If you think he looks like a cock now, wait till he drops the ball mid-dive.

Look, he seems to be a decent finisher, but 4 tries against Italy doesn't exactly make you David Campese or Bryan Habana (Chavhanga scored 6 on debut against Uruguay, and he didn't seem to think he was god's gift to rugby for doing so).

He's just opening himself up to ridicule, and inviting a seriously big hit. And it will come.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 8:16 am

Can't wait to see Chris Aston get cut in two by Digby Ioane, Will Chambers and SBW at the WC.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 8:29 am

Can you post JW's try saving tackle against Italy?

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Ben February 14, 2011 9:08 am

totally ok with katman,

ashton seems a lethal finisher, but score 4 tries to italy (with all respect for them)doesn't place u in the hall of fame lol. Furthermore when the tries are gifted by the italian defence or by a caviar by your partner, u should be less arrogant and egocentric in ur celebrations.

he should be careful, cause, his soccer show-off make him becoming a target, he could be rewarded by a big tackle soon (Chabal one?)

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OaksWinger February 14, 2011 9:41 am

Well play England, Can't wait for the Frog and Potatoe Farmer match-up.

WTF! If Ashton want to clebrated by Swan-Diving then let him, Stop going on about "Ooh he should get a big hit soon, That will teach him or wait till he drop it mid dive".

He is a former League player so i'm sure he can take any hits the other can give out (If they can catch him! and not by tripping him up either!!) and if he do drop it in the near future i'm sure he will change his dive to a one-arm Superman dive! Lmao.

"Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, It's Ashton!".

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 9:51 am

"Can't wait for the Frog and Potatoe Farmer match-up"

Wow, how long did it take you to come up with that one? Jaffa cunt.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:00 am

Lol, nice one @Oaks.

^above - You comment on it so you must like it! Stupid twat!

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 11:06 am

Some very, very bitter comments on here.

But who cares? We ARE English, we ARE arrogant, and that's because over the centuries we've got lots to be arrogant about.

So to all you haters with your sour grapes over Ashton's dive (which is nothing to do with the game anyway), or over our Slam chances (which is pure media hype, we have to wait and see) - I say FUCK YOU and FUCK OFF.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 11:06 am

Remember seeing something on TV saying all internet forums turn to abuse within 5 comments!!!

seems to be true.

I Think England Is very much a side in waiting, we are improving. However there is still a long way to go, yes we put Italy to the cosh but If we want to do well this summer you would expect us to.

The France game will be really interesting - I hope both sides play openly and resist the temptation to shut down and become defensive. We could be in for a try Fest from both sides if the ball is run in hand! Cant wait.

As for the moans about England being bad winners and arogant I think alot of people seem to have chips on there shoulders about Us guys, we are not arogant, we are pleased to be winning it hasn't happened for a while! When we loose we take it on the Chin. We are the most self depricating nation around - we take the piss out of ourselves before any body else (we havent had much choice recently)!

Given the amount of injuries we have its amazing to see we have a squad with such depth! However, we have a long way to go if we want to get on top of SA & NZ - Do I think its possible? I Hope so!

Either way theres going to be some awesome rugby to watch this year - still trying to convince the misses that NZ is a great honeymoon destination!

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BillM February 14, 2011 11:08 am

Ashton: talented but the very reason why everyone hate the arrogant english.
Anyone beat them please!

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FrankyH February 14, 2011 11:15 am

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

If a guy scores as many tries as he has, he's entitled to celebrate how he likes.

To get your panties in a knot about it is pathetic.

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orange February 14, 2011 11:55 am

Why on earth would I hate the game - which I love, when it's the player who's being a cock?

Aren't people entitled to dislike players for whatever reasons? Jamie Cudmore is a thug...but what, is it pathetic that I think he's a douche for starting fights all the time?

I'm ambilavent towards it because while I think overcelebration is a turd thing to do, I really don't think Ashton is doing anything that disrespectful (Piri Weeupu dancing in the tryzone is much worse, in my opinion). I just think that it will only make some people lose a bit of respect for England and be a little happier to see them lose. That's all.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 12:11 pm

I think if i'd scored for tries for England at twickers I'd be having kittens!

I dont think he's being disrespectful I think he just loves his job!

NZ and co wont be targeting Ashton they'll be targeting Youngs and Flood the play makers behind ashton!

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Nathan February 14, 2011 12:52 pm

i clearly forgotten about the unwritten rule where we English folk are not allowed to enjoy good performances else we're accused of being arrogant...

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Nick February 14, 2011 1:45 pm

'Ashton was quickly made anonymous against SA last year. He just needs a god hard tackle on him and he'll stop crowing like a proud cock.'

The guy knocked himself out after a tackle on Matfield about 5 mins in and has admitted that he really can't remember the rest of the game. I admit SA did a job on them that day, but to view Ashton's ability on 1 game when he was away with the fairies is hardly a fair trial. Also take into account that the aussies probably have the most exciting back 3 in international rugby at the moment and the England back 3 did a job on them a couple of times last year. The reality is this is early on in his career, if he keeps this up he'll be a great player, but that's now where the pressure lies.

I think the Ireland/French matches should be interesting, especially scrum wise, still note entirely convinced by Cole/Sheridan.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 1:50 pm

Fair point, although I thought Cole had a great game on Sat. Sheri seems to be getting envolved more in open play than he used to.

I thought Haskell looked great in broken play.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 6:15 pm

I see everyone just watched the Swan dives on repeat for 80mins and forgot the game even happened.

Inciteful stuff from some of the guys on here and what seems to be a lot of white noise about celebrations. I'm bored of the 'conversations' about Aston already.

I personally really enjoyed the game. As it showed some really good rugby from England. Though Ireland vs France was a lot more exciting. England are coming together on que for a qorld cup year once again.

Lets just hope the other NH teams can sort it out before the summer otherwise we'll have to listen to more talk of white wash this and blah blah blah

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Jacques February 14, 2011 6:32 pm

^^

Uh, the title of the thread is "Chris Ashton dives into the record books..." so obviously this was going to be the topic of discussion. Don't be a twat, and join us in ridiculing him.

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A_disgruntled_Englis February 14, 2011 9:21 pm

I hate to mention it but I'd rather be an arrogant English fan than a swearing, spitting Kiwi. I've been to rugby matches in pretty much every country, New Zealand, Australia, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and South Africa and the only country I've ever encountered any trouble regarding rugby is New Zealand. The attitude of the fans absolutely stinks. Whilst in the crowd cheering for England I was sworn at, pushed and even spat at! Dont talk to me about showing respect in a game when the fans cant even do it!

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Tom February 14, 2011 11:28 pm

You had a bad experience, but it could have happened anywhere, most kiwis are fine.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 11:34 pm

What a load of bitter comments concerning a game of rugby what a load of haters you talk about respect for the opposition I think England showed great respect for a poor italian side.Calling Chris a cunt a cunt from the safety of your anonymity thats really big you sad little hater bet you were always piked last in teams at school and everybody hated you and guys like Chris never knew you exist anonymous that sums up all you haters England are fantastic we may even win and yes thats a fucking arogant statement deal with it gobshite!

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Jono February 15, 2011 2:26 am

Use fullstops.

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Chill February 15, 2011 9:38 am

Jees didn't realise everyone was so sensitive. He's only diving, it's not the end of the world. If anything celebrating like that is showing how glad he is at scoring against the opposition.

Anyway he has opened a can of worms and he's a talking point. It could be good for the game.

Great performance from England, and Italy were poor. That's not disrespecting them because they're much better than that. They're a proper test team now with some very good players but on Saturday they were outclassed. Way too many missed tackles.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 2:31 pm

I find it interesting that no one has responded to the comments referring to the southern hemisphere and the fact that many of them do dramatic dives to celebrate tries, as several others in the northern hemisphere probably do. So honestly, why is it an issue when chris ashton does it? I don't understand?

Also, people need to stop attacking him personally, yes he did score 4 tries but he hasn't said he is a great player and 'gods gift to rugby'. Stop putting words into his mouth. All he does have is a bit of personality and i think if people listened to what he said more often in interviews and videos on this website they would realise he seems a decent guy.

Good win for them... will be interesting to see if they can perform and win vs france however

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 2:58 pm

On a side note, you look at most of the forums on the site and its only the ones Regarding England that get such abuse.

It would be great if rather than saying Chris Ashton or England is Arogant we could get back to the rugby - or at least give an example of when we are supposed to have been arogant?!

Ashton is an amazing player.

A few guys have suggested that alot of the abuse comes from NZ fans is this true? Hope not always respected the All Blacks, who cant say that Carter, Manu and SBW are amazing to watch. But the fact remains you lifted the big cup its self as often as we have, and we have made the final more times so save slagging us of and have some humility.

When you swear and rant you just devalue your opinion and we ignore you asuming your spotty teenagers dividing your time between the underwear section of your mums catalogue and game boys.

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ted February 15, 2011 4:21 pm

Second-to-last Anon:

I don't watch rugby matches just to hear what the players say in their off time.

I also don't think he's an awful person. I just think that, based on his on-the-field actions, he seems like a bit of a wang.

The end. That's all. It's not like I want him to stop playing rugby because I think he's a villain. I just prefer players who show a bit of modesty and respect on the field.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 8:06 pm

Ive just got into rugby about a year now im an england Chris Ashton fan where has rugby been all my life I love it!Its a pity everyone seems so rude about England let us enjoy our moment.Ive enjoyed most games ive seen and Iam in awe of the all blacks, France etc Im screaming at the TV most games every country posesses quality players Chris is fast becoming our leading man along with floods of course have a bit of respect eh.By the way Im female hate football I thought rugby fans had a bit more about them.Another thing why is football so saturated in the papers news etc I get so frustrated sometimes at the lack of coverage so come on guys lets work on this insteead just thought Id add a womens perspective m

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Tom February 15, 2011 10:03 pm

It's just people pissing about on the internet m, don't let it bother you.
Rugby fans don;t engage in violence or have problems with hooligans or any of that crap.
We have a go at each other from time to time, but it's usually tounge in cheek.
There are stereotypes in rugby.
The English are seen sometimes as getting ahead of themselves, in terms of winning a couple of games and then talking about being awesome. The flipside is that they lose a couple of games and they seem to think they are the worst team in the world. I think it's just how the English press operates, more than anything.
Probably nothing to do with the fans themselves.

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coops February 15, 2011 11:44 pm

Not heard one English fan claim England have an amazing side. Press have started implying it, but they'll print anything to sell. Common consensus is that we have a good team on the up - we have the potential to win the slam, but have three very tough games first.

Re: Chris Ashton - watch the interview with him. He's a pretty cheeky character but obviously fairly down to earth as well. Independant ran an article on how he differs from Cipriani in that although he has a brash confidence, he knows his place within the team. He took no credit for any of his tries, praising others for setting it up for him. That is his character - it's incredibly short sighted to judge someone on a dive. Bryan Habana, Joe Rokocoko and Shane Williams - all phenomenal players and all our showmen. It's the wingers privilege, get over it.

On the rugby side, I hope England learnt from the SA game and keep their intensity up. This is a promising side, and not even one-eyed anti-English fans can deny that.

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 5:55 am

Oh Italy....please stay with soccer.

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Anonymous March 06, 2011 11:39 pm

England need to realise that they are not the best in the world. Sure they are playing well in europe but realistically they are not going to win the world cup and most likley get fucked and huniliates by either new zealand, rsa or australia so they need to get over themselves and also ashton is a cheeky cunt who deserves to get hus fucking head kicked in

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