Go on the Bhoys in Green!!

6 March 2004

We beat the world champions!!! (commiserations to any England supporters but I’m WAY happy)

For those of you who don’t know about the Six Nations it is a rugby competition between England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy. This year, as last years winners and World Champions England were the favourites, with the Big Match being seen as the last one of the tournament between the big two: France and England.

We (ireland) would see ourselves as third best behind those two. And when we lost to France I thought we would lose to England as well as I think England are a better team than France. Added to that is the
fact that we haven’t won in Twickenham in ten years! And it has been an age since England have lost a home game, or any game really. So although I was hoping for the best, I thought England would win, but
that we would put in a good performance.

My hopes were dashed a little when Ronan O’Gara missed a very kickable penalty, and I got one of those “oh no” feelings. Luckily he recovered and had a fantastic game. Not just his tactical kicking which was just plain brilliant, but his entire game was great, one of the best overall performances I have ever seen. Maybe he was making up for Brian O’Driscoll who was very much below par today.

There were two tries in the match. We gave away a very soft try, and I really did think that was it, that England would now really let rip. But, once more, I was pleasantly surprised; a couple more penalties and we were ahead 12 to 10 points.

Our try was a lovely move, a lot of the kudos must go to D’Arcy who was well deserved man of the match, but Dempsey was the man who
scored it.

England had a couple of very close calls. There was that ankle-tap by Stringer on Robinson, the two attempts the video ref ruled out. I thought despite being technically a double-movt that the first would be awarded,. But no, the ref stuck to the rules and it was disallowed. As for the second, there was no way that anyone could object. Plainly out of touch before the ball was grounded. And then in the last few minutes, I was praying that we could hold them out. After all 6 points is not a lot, one converted try and they would have gone in front.

But we hung on, defended heroically and I think in the end we had a well deserved win over the “old enemy.” Roll on Scotland and the tripple crown :)

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