category: rugby news

Village idiots part II - stand by for wails

Chris Rattue8/8/07

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 sport.

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 international rugby.

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 cracker.

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 psychoanalysis.

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 , 2007 | Comment on this article

Chris Rattue

Please Springboks end this nightmare 17/10/07
France pose absolutely no threat to the All Blacks 3/10/07
World Cup wallowing but for ankle biters 19/9/07
Bring on the upsets 17/9/07
Paris warms to RWC 8/9/07
Beating the bookies 29/8/07
Forward casualties 15/8/07
Village idiots part II 8/8/07

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