Biggest mismatch of tournament so far…Rosenthal and Johnson

Watching Jim Rosenthal talking to Martin Johnson after yesterday’s England game was like seeing an excited schoolboy talking to a professor, like Ron Weasley talking to Albus Dumbledore.  The difference in their depth of knowledge and analytical prowess is surely the biggest mismatch of the 2007 Rugby World Cup so far.

Rosenthal asked of Johnson something along the lines of, “Didn’t Jonny Wilkinson destroy Samoa today?”, at which Johnson started to defend the Samoans – after all, they were magnificent opponents, and were close to taking the lead with a quarter of the match remaining.

Unfortunately, Rosenthal’s thirst for tabloid-esque nonsense of hamming up Wilkinson the hero was unsated.  He interrupted Johnno to say, “Yes, but wasn’t Jonny Wilkinson brilliant?”.  Toying with the programme host, Johnno responded, yes, he played well but not perfectly, and it was the improvement in the English pack that was the biggest difference over the South Africa embarrassment.

Luckily Francois Pienaar stepped in, lauding Wilko to put the childish grin back on Rosenthal’s face. 

Having two World Cup-winning captains as pundits is tremendous, but surely ITV can find a more worthy anchor for the studio analysis – step up Martin Bayfield?

2 thoughts on “Biggest mismatch of tournament so far…Rosenthal and Johnson

  1. Couldn’t agree more. It’s a shame the Sky deal ITV did was only half-way, Simon Lazenby normally asks more pertinent questions.
    In his absence the well respected Bayfield should step up. Rosenthal used to do the F1 and was equally clueless there.

  2. I think your Ron Weasley comparison is a little bit harsh……on Weasley! What is the point of Jim Rosenthal? I suspect he is just one of those presenters with a few years left on his contract so they feel they ought to use him for something. Totally agree about Lazenby, or pretty well any of the Guinness Rugby Club team – always great viewing.

    Let’s face it though, outside of Sky, no-one really does a good job of presenting rugby. The BBC get some good studio guests such as Guscott, Healey and even Davies (whiny nasal voice aside), but I think Moore and Butler are appalling (not that keen on Moore’s Telegraph column either).

    I listen to Talk Sport a lot in the car which is totally football dominated but always amusing. Their World Cup coverage though has been very tokenistic and patronising. Campo and Carling are good if a little cabaret-ish at times, but the rest of the presenters are clueless but still try to talk as if they know the game. The other day Alan Brazil said “later on we’ll be talking to a World Cup winner from 2003, now the coach of Bristol, Richard Hill”!

    I wasn’t in the car long enough to find out which Richard Hill it really was but I did send Brazil a text telling him to have words with his researcher!

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