So I got out of bed with surprising ease this morning. Dressed in my Irish top I almost poisoned myself with sour milk, but spotted that there was something wrong with the tea and poured it down the sink. And headed off round the corner to The Woolshed Baa and Grill
Within 30 minutes we were 14 nil down. But the heads didn’t drop and with a wonderful try from Paul O’Connell Ireland started to eat back into the lead. And then another from Jerry Flannery before half time. Which came at an unfortunate time for Ireland as they were really starting to get into a rhythm.
But a first victory was not to happen. And with the rain pouring down there were numerous errors from both teams. The big difference between the two was clearly the scrum, and Ireland came off worse there.
So once more it is the plucky Irish, who didn’t win. But this test was still a great achievement. Afterall, traditionally we do well in our first tests against the AB, only to be slaughtered in the second one. And the team didn’t collapse in the final 15/20 minutes as they did in the previous match. Next week we play Australia who were more than comfortable winners against England.
When I got home from the pub there was, of course, nothing on the telly. But I did get distracted by the trooping of the colours for the Queen of England’s 80th birthday. Not her real one mind, but her official one. And, my got, what a load of shite it is. Can anyone explain why they still were those silly hats?
Tradition, I know. But come on. Does all that purposeless pomp impress anyone?
Hmm, almost two, time to go watch the football.
- Aussies are so witty, aren’t they? ↩
Actually watched most of the second half. I don't usually watch the rugby since my only in-house option is to watch with my father-in-law and that is just too scary. (We are always terrified the poor man is going to have a heart attack.)
I felt bad for Ireland- it seemed like around the 70 minute mark or so, the All-Blacks just entirely ground them down. Nothing flashy, just relentlessly moving the ball. You're right, there was no collapse and the boys kept working, but it was like trying to stop a bulldozer that's rolling downhill.
What struck me the most (and you can correct me if I'm wrong – this is an impression) is that it seems like rugby is the most team-oriented sport I've ever seen. It really takes all the players to make the team work, unlike most team sports I can think of in which having a superstar or two can make your team much better regardless of team work. (Like having a power hitter or strike-out pitcher in baseball or some insane striker in soccer or someone like Eoin Kelly on your hurling team.)
Well, maybe having Eoin Kelly would've helped, if he was allowed to use his hurl ;)
But I think you are right, you have to have a team performance, and while individuals can lift a team, they can't force a win.
I suppose you could argue that having a top class out half can really direct a game, and if they've great drop kicking ability then they can win tight games.