Not that I wasn’t supporting Wales as they took on France. I wouldn’t say that I became Welsh for the day, but I had hoped that the Red Dragons would prevail if only so we could be treated to another frantic week of taffymania in the media.
But the dust has settled now and the question has to asked: why didn’t they go for the drop-kick in the final two minutes that would have won the match?
And why did they miss so many penalty kicks? In particular, the one by James Hook whose left leg slid from under him as his right was about to connect with the ball.
The same thing happened to Wayne Rooney in the match against Chelsea recently, as it famously did to John Terry in the Champions League final, but these were footballers who are stupid and so have an excuse.
They’re also paid squillions of pounds by Nike, Puma etc to wear totally inappropriate footwear, but rugby players are solicitors, teachers, doctors and the like so they should know better and put some bloody longer studs in their boots.
I don’t understand the complex rules of rugby well enough to comment on Sam Warburton’s sending off. His tackle on Vincent Clerc made me wince, but it seemed no worse than what generally goes on on a rugby pitch, ie WWI trench warfare with a referee.
The commentator’s paraphrasing the rule book was interesting though: “It is okay to lift an opposing player off his feet in a tackle, but it is then your responsibility to see that he lands safely.”
Which is a bit like saying that it is okay to hit a pedestrian with your car as long as you make sure there is a feather pillow and few bean bags for them to land on.
What summed up the toughness of the sport though was the comment when man-mountain Adam Jones was forced to limp off. “It looks like his calf muscle. Or maybe a bone problem, like a minor fracture.” (My emphasis)
If there is an upside for Wales it’s that they won’t have to face New Zealand in the final next Sunday. I suspect that France will be annihilated.