This column got in a lot of lukewarm water
last year after claiming that Wales were the
village idiots of rugby union.
This is the appropriate time to offer an
apology - to all village idiots out there.
Events of last weekend reveal that it was
unfair to associate the well-intentioned if
stumbling manner of your average village
idiot with the people who run Welsh rugby.
A fool with a hockey fetish would do a
better job than Wales does with its national
Deliberately losing by nearly 60 points
against their bitter old enemy England was
an absolute masterstroke - for England.
If ever a battling title holder needed a
boost on the eve of a World Cup tournament,
it is this England rugby side. Wales did it
beautifully, turning up at Twickenham with a
pub team and then playing like skittles
against an idling English bowling ball.
England is now bouncing around, like a
36-year-old spring chicken. Even a false
sense of security is a security worth having
when you are in the sort of plodding state
that England had reached.
What another glorious moment for
Well done Wales. Maybe you could pop over to
Portugal and give their lads a bit of a
boost to help kick the World Cup along.
If you happen to see a Welsh bloke with a
crinkly purple hat blowing a roll-out
whistle then it's probably their coach,
Gareth Jenkins, because he must have got his
World Cup campaign out of a Christmas
When you have as few resources and as poor a
record as Wales do, this is the time to
throw all the eggs and even a few of the
chickens in one basket, then hope like
blazes you come up with a magic solution.
Combinations and confidence - that's what
Wales need. Sending out the Boys Brigade for
a humiliating defeat is tantamount to a
World Cup surrender.
About all you could say for Wales is that
their latest rugby disaster gave Jenkins a
chance to fine-tune his excuses.
"We've shown character, resolve and kept our
heads up and the players wore the jersey
proudly, but what we weren't able to do was
affect that game," said Jenkins, in one of
his more lucid moments.
If you want a chance at making sense of his
other quotes, try translating them into
Swahili first and then get a two-year-old to
read them backwards.
Jenkins actually expressed surprise at
England's forward-orientated approach which
threw his plans into disarray.
England? Forward-orientated? Those two
things don't just go together - they came
out of the same womb, at the same time.
Gareth Jenkins doesn't need video analysis.
The man is in desperate need of
At least with press conference form like
this we're in for a bumper World Cup even if
a lot of the games aren't much chop.
CHRIS RATTUE |
The NZ Herald | Wednesday, 8 August ,
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