Regular readers of this blog will know that although its main focus is my work as the MP for Croydon Central, I am also a passionate sports fan and this weekend saw two great sporting spectacles.
First up was the rugby on Saturday afternoon. In recent years, watching England play rugby has all too often proved a painful experience - even when they've won, they've rarely entertained. Today's victory over Australia is therefore hopefully a breakthrough - not only did they win convincingly, I can't remember the last time England played this well. The newer players - Ben Youngs, Chris Ashton, Courtney Laws and Tom Croft were at the fore but they seemed to inspire old hands like Mark Cueto as well.
Then there was this afternoon's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final one of the season. I am not normally a big Formula One fan - all too often races and the championship are a procession and therefore rather dull. But that hasn't been the case this season. Red Bull have clearly had the dominant car but both Vettel and Webber have made mistakes and, until recently, have seemed evenly matched. Alonso and Hamilton have been able to stick with them, despite having inferior cars and so we went into this race with four drivers still having a mathematical chance of winningt the title. With his nearest rival Webber qualifying behind him, Alonso was the hot favourite, only needing to finish fifth even if Vettel won the race. But as is often the case in such circumstances, Ferrari were too cautious, pitting Alonso as soon as Webber pitted to cover him when they would have been better keeping him out and thereby allowing Vettel to take the title. Roll on next year when we will have five world champions on the grid!