Dateline: FRIDAY 4th SEPTEMBER 2009: 11.25pm

Friday's final practice session was always going to prove difficult because of the previous nights incredible rainstorms. However, the surprise in store for everyone was that the wind dropped slightly and the rain held off, although as we go to upload, the heavens have opened up again and proceeded to throw everything down onto this part of Holland

Drennan Team England were  in E section, box 1, right by the bridge with the French and Belgians in adjacent boxes in D section. Italy were down in B and were at least protected today from the wind.

The final team practice tends to be a day when nobody really wants to give too much away, therefore catches can sometimes be a bit on the low side. This may simply be anglers trying to eliminate certain methods, or trying to obscure some particular tactic.

Right from the start it was apparent that smaller fish were once more becoming more difficult, and a quick walk through the sections saw that no one was really catching at a high rate. The Belgians and French were catching small fish, as were the Dutch, but the Scots, especially Jamie Masson, seemed to be catching a bigger stamp than most by loose-feeding casters across his inside line.

It’s been interesting watching teams and their different approaches to these small fish, some loose-feeding, some topping-up by hand, others not topping up at all. It’s very hard to assess the various options and without a formal weigh-in we can’t really comment accurately. However, it seemed that some loose-feed was bringing in the odd stamp fish. Even so, the inside line was taking sometime to 'get going' and this could also be creating a false impression.

As we walked through the various sections, it became apparent that a lot of anglers were sitting on their long (13m) line for bream and not many were being caught. This we believe is due to the heavy rain having an effect.

The Italians were catching some fish close in and they seemed to be of a similar stamp to those of the Scottish. They seemed to be catching as well as anyone and they could become a real threat at the weekend, unusually, few teams seemed to be watching them.

Down in A section, a quick chat with Rickard Jensen of Denmark, revealed that that they had managed to catch three bream already, which seemed very good compared to most. The Welsh in box A2 had taken five bream and as far as I could tell this was as good as anyone on the day. Eric Humphries commented that one each on Saturday would be quite acceptable!!!

Walking back up to C section we stopped and had a good chat with the New Zealand guys, they were still loving every minute of their world championship experience. We shall be running a full feature of their 'experiences' after the event.

Meanwhile, the Belgians were competing well with the French on small fish, who were not catching that great. The Belgians also managed the odd bream and we really do have them as one of the pre-match favourites for the event, along with England. We heard the Dutch, back on box D3, weighed in a best weight of  6.5kgs. England for their part continued to pick-up bream, albeit from the beginning of section E. Both Will and Stevie  took two fish each, with Stu Conroy adding another one.

As the rain keeps 'bombing' down on us, we can only imagine what Saturday's match will throw up. We hope there will not be any points anomalies raising their heads, to spoil what promises to be an interesting and fascinating event.

Rob, Dave and Lee

Slideshow to follow ASA