The small matter of the Rugby World Cup is currently being contested a short way across the pond in England and everyone involved is taking it pretty seriously.

While the pundits over-analyse how good people are at knocking other people over and avoiding being knocked over themselves, here’s an alternative view from the Rugby World Cup to lighten the mood.

Drama, Guts & Glory

For me, England vs Wales was the game of the tournament so far. It lived up to the hype and the needle between the two nations and like a feature-length ITV drama the tension was cranked up minute by minute, until the final act which brought an ending few could have predicted. Then just when it seemed over there was a final mini-twist when England turned down the chance to draw level, went for glory, and failed. Roll credits.

Wales celebrate. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

It was a truly heroic performance by Wales, with the men in red putting their bodies on the line and continuing to believe they could win whenever everyone else had written them off. Substitutions marked a key difference between the two teams with England making a lot of changes for the sake of tinkering, while Wales only resorted to substitutes if a player’s leg, arm or head was hanging off. Given the number of players unavailable for Wales’ next match against Fiji, rumour has it Fireman Sam will be starting at full back.

Celebrations continued in Wales and across the rugby world for the rest of the weekend. Such was the acclaim for the Welsh victory, that even the moon turned red for a bit.

Rugby Moon

Haters gonna hate

If ever you needed an explanation as to why people hate the English rugby team, look no further than Mike Brown.

Rugby Mike BrownYou couldn’t love that guy even if he’d scored 19 points for your ESPN Fantasy Rugby team against Fiji.

There’s no denying he’s one of the best full backs in the world, but that doesn’t excuse the fact he’s one of the worst examples of little man syndrome you’ll see on a rugby pitch.

Dan Cole is the English player who I actually feel sorry for.

Rugby Dan ColeHe doesn’t fit in with the bullish prototype of the rest of the team and any time the camera pans to him during a match he has that ‘rabbit in the headlights’ look about him. He’s guaranteed to give away at least two penalties per game, a clear cry for help that he’d like nothing more than to quietly retire from international rugby duties and set up a craft cider business.

Bowe back on song

Tommy Bowe got back to scoring ways for Ireland with a brace against Romania.

Tommy Bowe in full flow. Photo by INPHO/Billy Stickland

His performance was that good that it inspired me to pen the following chant which could soon be winging its way to a rugby terrace near you. It’s sung to the tune of Let It Go from Frozen.

Tommy Bowe, Tommy Bowe
Can’t hold him back anymore
Tommy Bowe, Tommy Bowe
Give it wide and he will score

Okay, so I realise it’s a bit cheesy, but the alternatives of Fields of Athenry, Molly Malone or Irrrrrrrreeeeeeland, Irrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeland, Irrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeland aren’t exactly inspiring.

And anyway, I don’t care what the people say, let the storm rage on, Dan Cole never bothered me anyway!

Decent Proposal

After the Ireland vs Romania game, the Wembley turf was subject to something rather special when Romanian scrum-half Florin Surugiu proposed to his girlfriend on the field.

Rugby Romania

The only thing missing, as Florin got down on one knee, was for the ref to say “Crouch, touch, pause… ENGAGE!”

Revolutionary spirit

During the Argentina vs Georgia game the commentators dropped the stat that revolutionary poster boy Che Guevara used to play out half for Club Universitario de Buenos Aires.

Rugby Che Guevara

Do they really expect us to believe that? You know to look at him he was an openside flanker!


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