Cast: Andrew Airlie
My only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey!
What a match. What a result. Role on Scotland and Italy.
Super Saturday or what? The fun started before I went to bed on Friday when B#5 texted me to say he’d gotten his hands on a ticket for the big match. Bad news was that he couldn’t get me one, his was a schoolboy one that some fella didn’t want. Don’t know why, he asked no question just grabbed it. His train got into Dublin around 3 on Sat., so I was busy texting him the insane opening scores from the Italy Scotland match. 21-0 after 7 minutes, and Scotland’s nightmare start was all down to their own sloppiness. Part of me really wanted Scotland to make a come back, I was giving out to Mr. Paterson for not taking any of the points on offer. Constantly kicking for touch and never getting near scoring a try! But a little part of me wanted Italy to win Historic, seeing as they’d never won a Six Nations away match before. And if they’d lost after those early tries it would have been heartbreaking. It’ll be really interesting to see them face Wales, I’m thinking that the Wooden Spoon might be headed Wales, despite the fact that they finally managed to score some tries in this year’s competition. But I’m getting ahead of myself. After the Scotland match came the Ireland match.
And the tension was such that I had to put away the beer, couldn’t be drinking as I had to concentrate on the match. But before that came the appearances by the teams, and the crowd gave the English team a great reception. Nothing compared to the reception they gave Ireland, but still nice to see. And after all that had been written and talked about regarding GSTQ, there wasn’t even the slightest hint of trouble Instead it was sung and listened to with respect, before Amhrá¡n na bhFiann and Ireland’s Call were belted out, with so much emotion that tears were shed. And then, the match itself.
The opening was a bit dodgy. England took the lead, 3-0 and a slow start from Ireland looked likely. But not this time. Not a bit of it. O’Gara evened the score up with a penalty of his own, and from there on it was all Ireland. England were totally outplayed in one of the most intense first halfs I have ever seen. O’Driscoll was back and although quiet by his usual standards was still hugely influential. Stringer was back and as game as ever. Paulie too was back, I know he hadn’t missed a game, but he hasn’t been playing as well as he can recently. But in this match he was fantastic, back to his best, and Man of the Match, although maybe O’Gara could have claimed the award as he totally dominated the match. But then again, so too could Wallace, he was immense. And with Horgan back to his preferred position, and displaying some GAA high-fielding talents to score that try.
Image from IrishRugby.ie
Then I had to leave the on-screen celebrations and head out and find de brudder in the seething mass of happy fans coming down Parnell St. And headed home to hope Wales would finish off a perfect day by beating France.
It was not to be however, Wales may have gotten off to a good start, but in the end France’s class showed out and they won, playing well-within themselves. Bloody French spoiling our party ;)