Barnes picked up an ankle ligament injury in a training session before the Wallabies Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand tomorrow, and Contepomi is out as he failed to recover from the knee ligament damage that forced him out of action for Leinster back in May. Balls. It's like I've got some sort of inadvertant injury hex going on: as soon as I decide I like the look of a player he hobbles off the pitch with a wonky limb/broken bone/weird tropical disease. Maybe that's why Jonny Wilkinson racked up so many injuries over the past few years as I really, really liked him...
You know, I think might be onto something here. Jonny seemed to shake off all those pesky 'stingers' and 1001 other random afflictions when I turned my attention to Rob Kearney last season.... who then promptly fell really ill with the mumps.
Let's just hope Messrs Wilkinson and Carter remain unscathed this time as I don't fancy either of them now, honest.
Anyway, also in the news, referee David Rose apologised to Leeds Carnegie this week after wrongly disallowing resident Shrek lookalike Hendre Fourie's first half try in last weekend's game against Saracens. The try was incorrectly disallowed when the match was evenly poised on 6-6 just ahead of half time.
Shrek in action
Leeds Director of Rugby Andy Key said:
"Credit to Rosey he has phoned us and admitted his mistake. That try would have put a different complexion on the game and it's very frustrating for us."
It certainly is very frustrating. If the try had stood and had been converted then it could have changed the course of the game and helped Leeds to their first win of the season instead of the 21-15 scoreline which gave the win to Saracens. I was not amused when I read about this on the BBC website and have made a mental note to start some form of mild hate campaign against David Rose, possibly involving muttering some naughty words under my breath and secretly flicking him the V's whenever I see him refereeing a game.
Boooo: Not exactly smelling of roses on this occasion
In his interview with BBC Radio Leeds this week, Key also alluded to the fact that certain pundits and referees almost expect Leeds to make certain errors meaning that they look out for these mistakes and penalise Leeds when they actually did nothing wrong. I can see his point, and hopefully after this refereeing mistake and close run game against the league leaders, Leeds will get some of the credit that they deserve.
Anyway, it's predictions time again. Here are my winners and losers this week (winners highlighted in bold):
Sale v Gloucester
Bath v Saracens
Harlequins v London Irish
Leicester v Northampton
Newcastle v Worcester
Wasps v Leeds Carnegie
The Magners League
Connacht v Scarlets
Ospreys v Glasgow
Leinster v Cardiff Blues
Munster v Ulster
Edinburgh v Newport-Gwent D'gons
Hopefully I can improve on last week's 63% of correct predictions.
Don't forget, Leeds Carnegie are on Sky Sports this Sunday afternoon as their game against Wasps is being televised. Apparently Simon Shaw and Joe Worsley are back for Wasps, wheras Leeds have recalled Jonny "Baby Face" Hepworth after his twinkle-toed hat trick try scoring performance for the A-Team on Monday. Unfortunately Hannibal, BA and Howling Mad Murdoch are unavailable for selection.