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Bacon's Bites: Six Nations brings out the patriot...Non-League Podcast rocks...Not long now for speedway!

07 February, 2019 - 20:00
Owen Farrell (centre) and his England team-mates have a team huddle after their win in the Guinness Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photo: PA SPORT

Owen Farrell (centre) and his England team-mates have a team huddle after their win in the Guinness Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photo: PA SPORT

PA Wire/PA Images

In his weekly column, Mike Bacon admits he enjoys the Six Nations, while also looking forward to the speedway season!

England's Henry Slade scores his team's third try during the Guinness Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin last weekend. Photo: PAEngland's Henry Slade scores his team's third try during the Guinness Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin last weekend. Photo: PA

The Six Nations is up and running and boy was it an exciting start to the campaign.

If this weekend’s action continues in the same vein I think it is fair to say we are all set to be richly entertained once more.

What is it about the Six Nations?

I can go almost 11 months of the year without watching a rugby match, either live or on TV, but will go out of my way to check out kick-off times and dates for Six Nations matches – and not just England games either.

Although I was a pretty hopeless hooker at school (my legs used to come off the ground when the second row pulled on my shorts in the scrum), I’ve always liked rugby and played it long before I had a real interest in football.

At school the biggest boys ruled the rugby roost as I’m sure many of you who played back in your childhood will remember.

English fans celebrate their team's win last weekend. So very patriotic Photo: PAEnglish fans celebrate their team's win last weekend. So very patriotic Photo: PA

I used to dive OUT of the way of any No.8 from the opposition school who came charging my way – although in my defence my ‘bravery’ was dented after my best mate did a last-gasp tackle on an opposition forward on a snowy afternoon at Northgate Grammar, only to almost lose a tooth in said tackle.

“Get on with it lad,” came the call from our sports teacher, who was rugby mad.

“It hasn’t been knocked fully out!”

I was considered better in the front row where it could still be feisty, but tackling seemed to be less of an issue for me as I spent most of my time in the mud getting up from scrums.

But back to the Six Nations.

I always enjoy listening to Eddie Jones, the England Head Coach.

England's Joe Root, plenty to think about right now Photo: PA SPORTEngland's Joe Root, plenty to think about right now Photo: PA SPORT

He makes me laugh because I’m convinced any press conference or interview question taken the wrong way, could see him explode at any moment. Perhaps I’m being unfair. He’s a fine coach.

How did France lose last weekend from that half-time position?

And the Irish, always so strong at home, were beaten by England in Dublin.

I’m not sure why the Six Nations is so popular, but I’m guessing that although it’s incredibly un-PC to be patriotic in today’s fluffy cloud social media world, most of us actually are patriotic – make sure you whisper that of course!

MORE BACON’S BITES: Stand up for the FA Cup

I don’t know what’s happened in the West Indies.

Foxhall Stadium, where the Witches will soon be back racing Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWNFoxhall Stadium, where the Witches will soon be back racing Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN

From what I was reading from the ‘experts’ England were going to thrash the poor, hapless home team to such a degree the sport would never recover in the Caribbean.

Two Tests later and two defeats and a series defeat t’boot for England, and Joe Root and the boys have their tails well and truly between their legs.

I suppose they should be grateful that only those with satellite dishes were able to watch such abject performances back home in Blighty.

It’s been mooted that ‘home sickness’, as well as over confidence, have contributed to the defeats.

Maybe, but this is hardly a six-month tour – and in the Caribbean as well – I could think of worse places to spend a month or two. Enjoy it while you can boys I say.

Life moves apace.

Left to right: Carlos Edwards, Stuart Watson, Mike Bacon and Carl Marston on Episode 9 of the Non-League Podcast Photo SAM DAWESLeft to right: Carlos Edwards, Stuart Watson, Mike Bacon and Carl Marston on Episode 9 of the Non-League Podcast Photo SAM DAWES

MORE BACON’S BITES: You can stick your VAR!

It’s just six weeks to the start of the new speedway season. Hooorah!

Warm summer nights, a glass of ale (not for working journos you appreciate) and the odd ice cream of three.

Ipswich Witches and Mildenhall Fen Tigers are both back on track in 2019, the Witches are back in the sport’s top flight – the Premiership.

That means there could even be a TV appearance or two on BT Sport, who cover domestic speedway.

But do you know what I’m looking forward to most?... The Witches first Premiership home clash of the year... At home to Belle Vue.

Ahhhh! The two most famous names in British speedway, the Aces versus the Witches. Only the Bees of Coventry come close to challenging that title.

My tin hat is on. #boomsongpingpong

THE NON-LEAGUE PODCAST. CATCH UP WITH ALL THE EPISODES HERE

I’ve been hosting a Non League Podcast for the past 14 weeks.

And it has gone down a storm.

Every Friday myself and my colleague, ‘the beard of Col U knowledge’, Carl Marston, welcome guests from the non-league world.

It’s been super fun.

Chairmen, players, managers, even former ITFC players now involved in non-league, Alan Lee and Carlos Edwards, have made appearances.

If you haven’t heard it you can download it on iTunes, under The Non-League Podcast

Or follow me on Twitter and I’ll let you know when they appear... @Mike_Bacon

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