Sport Rugby

Saturday 21 April 2018

Idiotic 'Ash splash' ruins Sarries' fine work

Saracens' Chris Ashton scores against Connacht at Barnet Copthall
Saracens' Chris Ashton scores against Connacht at Barnet Copthall
Tony Ward

Tony Ward

Two aspects to the Sarries/Connacht match worth commenting on.

Firstly, I haven't been to the new Allianz Park yet, but watching a live broadcast from there for the first time I was struck by the cramped nature of the boundaries on the artificial pitch, particularly in the goal area at either end. They looked uncomfortably narrow and potentially dangerous.

Not for a minute am I suggesting that this contributed to an abysmal performance from Connacht, but I feel the rugby authorities should compel clubs to have standard dimensions.

Saracens were particularly impressive in their 11-try rout of a Connacht squad that failed to turn up. The domination they established early on was retained by way of relentless intensity all the way through with the Vunipola brothers – Billy and Mako – leading the charge. These two, along with George Kruis and Schalk Brits, were really impressive.

It was hard not to admire the expansive quality of the English Premiership leaders' play.

Then, bringing us to our second talking point, enter the plonker that is Chris Ashton. I hope this guy gets his comeuppance and soon, be it through dropping the ball or landing flat on his face when doing his so-called 'Ash splash'.

In a moment of typical Ashton arrogance, he undid all the good work built by his team for the guts of the preceding 80 minutes.

Saracens' Mark McCall is a good guy and a very good coach to boot. He is on the road to better things if he so wants. One way he could further enhance his growing reputation is by taking this idiot to one side and calling him out for the clown he is.

Ashton's splash is every bit as ugly and idiotic as the fool performing it.

Irish Independent

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