BBC BLOGS - Ben Dirs

Archives for February 2012

Belief may not be enough for Andy Robinson

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Ben Dirs | 22:11 UK time, Sunday, 26 February 2012

Andy Robinson is a man who should be drowning in statistics. Scotland have now lost five Tests in a row and won only two of 13 Six Nations matches since Robinson took over as head coach. Yet, not only does Robinson stay afloat, he retains the luxury of choice: not whether the Scots can put up with him any longer, but how much longer he can put up with them.

“I can’t hide away from what you’re saying and you’re right to bring it up,” said the former England coach when reminded of the stark facts following his side’s 17-23 defeat by France in Edinburgh. He could have added: “And what are you going to do about it? Sack me? Who else is out there?”

Robinson is right when he says his side are on the right track, almost there. “I have total belief that we have the ability to win and that belief was strengthened even more today,” said Robinson, before adding: “As it was against Wales, and in the England game.”

But believing you have the ability to win and actually winning are two different things. Which is why the France defeat might be the beginning of the end of his tenure. It further suggests his belief, however sincere, is not seeping through to his players, at least not as a team.

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Munich melee can only damage British boxing

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Ben Dirs | 08:01 UK time, Sunday, 19 February 2012

In Munich

There are lots of good people in British boxing, I promise you, although at the moment it might not seem that way. So people will ask me, having seen two British boxers brawling at a post-fight press conference in Munich, "what do you see in that sport?" And, for once, I worry I won't know what to say.

If our German hosts thought us Brits lacked class before the fight itself - Vitali Klitschko beat Dereck Chisora on points, by the way - then by the time they left the Olympiahalle they must have thought good old Blighty had embarked on some grand experiment in Darwinism in reverse.

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Classless Chisora makes no sense

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Ben Dirs | 17:18 UK time, Friday, 17 February 2012

"Why are all British fighters such idiots?" said a German reporter, having just seen Dereck Chisora slap Vitali Klitschko round the face at the weigh-in for Saturday's fight in Munich. Only he didn't actually say "idiots". He said something much worse.

Having also witnessed the boorish behaviour of David Haye before his fight with Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg last summer - not to mention his legion of prematurely triumphalist fans - it was a fair question to ask.

The sight and sound of boxing journalists becoming outraged by what they deem the unacceptable behaviour of a fighter will no doubt cause much mirth among punters who view the sport with cynicism. After all, what's a little slap when you've heard Mike Tyson threaten to eat Lennox Lewis' kids?

Yet the righteous indignation was real enough: whether a British fighter, a British journalist or a British fan, we are all guests of Germany and Chisora's actions reflect as poorly on the sport as they do the country he represents.

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