With the results and implications of the weekend’s games already having been discussed ad nauseam, we take a look at the lighter side of the 6 Nations and have a laugh at the expense of some of the toughest guys on the planet.
Men against schoolboys
Ireland looked amazing in their rout against Italy but you can’t help but wonder if the victory would have been as comprehensive against a team who had a semblance of discipline and knew how to tackle properly.
The number of missed tackles from Italy made you wonder if their performance was a subtle form of protest to demonstrate what the game would be like if doctors get their way and ban tackling at schools level.
I was lucky enough to be in the crowd at the Aviva for what turned out to be a try-fest. It wasn’t the most competitive of fixtures, but it did produce the best team try of the 6 Nations this season – Jamie Heaslip’s score before half time. Despite their humbling defeat Italy were in far better tune leaving the stadium than the Irish fans, who recognised that bragging about the 58-15 win would be like James Bond giving it loads having just made out with Susan Boyle in a Vauxhall Corsa.
I love burritos and tequila but there’s one thing I’m not so thankful to the Mexicans for. During the second half of the game at the Aviva a Mexican Wave broke out. It may make for a great spectacle but nothing says, “This match is boring the pants off me” like a load of people synchronising how often they stand up and sit down.
Call me old fashioned but if you’re going to create a spectacle at a sporting event, give me a streaker any day. Better still, a Mexican Streaker. In terms of clothing a poncho has got to be right up there with easiest items to remove at speed.
Room for one more
After the game we got the Dart train from Landsdowne Road round to Connolly Station. To say it was overcrowded was an understatement.
Apparently they’d hired a team of Italians to stop so many people getting through. Therein lies the problem.
Tweet of the weekend
Sean Cronin’s 50th cap brought a try for the hooker and merited this reaction from team-mate Fergus McFadden…
— Fergus McFadden (@fergmcfadden) March 13, 2016
Maybe he nodded off during the Mexican Wave.
England hang on
When I got home from the rugby my dad informed that England had beaten Wales 25-21. He said that if they’d played for another five minutes Wales would have won. He might as well have said if the Titanic hadn’t hit an iceberg Belsonic would still be at Custom House Square.
I’m not a great believer in the ‘what ifs’. You could pretty much change any sporting outcome with a few choicely worded ‘what ifs’.
For example, what if Taulupe Faletau had chosen to play for his native Tonga instead of Wales?
He’s played some of the best rugby of his career during this year’s 6 Nations campaign, scoring two tries in the process. Without him Wales probably wouldn’t have drawn the opening game against Ireland and who knows where we’d be right now.
If you think I’m being petty singling out one Welsh player who wasn’t born in Wales, then you can add Dan Lydiate, George North, Luke Charteris and Alex Cuthbert to the list of Welsh players born outside the country.
So you could ask the question, ‘What if they’d played for another five minutes on Saturday at Twickenham, but what if only players born in Wales were playing for Wales?’
The answer is Wales would would have got absolutely hammered because not only would they have finished the match with 10 players on the pitch but they’d have had to play for 85 minutes.
The Hogg pass
Poor old Scotland, even in victory there was a stench of defeat as their deserved win over France meant the old enemy lifted the 6 Nations Championship. As Scotland celebrated back-to-back wins for the first time in three years, England captain Dylan Hartley toasted the news his team were champions for the first time since 2011, probably by gouging the nearest concierge at the team hotel.
During the game Stuart Hogg pulled off an audacious piece of skill to pass the ball over his head to Tim Visser to score a try to seal victory for the Scots. His overhead flick will no doubt be copied by kids up and down the country the next time they find themselves on the rugby field. But they better be quick. It won’t be long until the rugby police find a reason to ban it too.