The Grudge

Full title The Grudge : Scotland vs. England, 1990
ISBN: 9780224082761

Did you know that 1990 was twenty years ago. Twenty! That’s a long time. I always sort of feel that the ninties were just a couple of years ago, but no, it is 2010 now. Almost 2011. That means that the 90’s happened a long long time ago. And that is what reading this book feels like. Rugby was a very different game back then. It wasn’t professional for one thing. There were no video refs, no citing commisioners, and things could get very nasty. But it was also the end of something politically. In Britain Margaret Thatcher was on her way out. People were rioting over the poll tax, and Scotland felt especially hard hit. Stir that political hatred for the “damn English” into the mix alongside sporting rivalries, the desire to win, a growing nationalist movement, and you end up with a grudge match to beat all grudge matches.

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Zero Point One Six: living in extra time

ISBN: 184018485X
See also: Wikipedia on Mick Doyle ; Irish Examiner’s Obit

I still do not know the exact point at which I first became aware; all I can recall is waking up very gradually and becoming increasingly conscious that I was probably in this world, or somewhere else, other than just being dead.

In 1996 Mick Doyle suffered a brain haemorrhage and spent four weeks in a coma. He was lucky enough to wake up and to be able to begin the road back to recovery. This book tells his story of recuperation. A former international rugby player, an Irish rugby coach, a British and Irish Lions coach, a media pundit, Doyle was also lucky enough to be on of the 0.16 per cent of people who recover from a brain haemorrhage. Hence the title of the book.

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The Last Great Tour?

Sunday 29 May 2005, Schipol Airport, Amsterdam
I hated rugby once, you know. In first year at secondary school, we hauled our bags up to the top of St. Patrick’s Hill every Monday afternoon, to run around in the freezing muck.

I had hoped to enjoy this, but in the end it was a little meh. Maybe because I hadn’t seen any of the rugby from the Tour, Sky Sports keeping it all for their viewers. Or maybe because New Zealand were so dominant. Or maybe because I’m not a Woodward fan. Or maybe because the style of writing was only meh-worthy.