Posts Tagged ‘Wales’

Get a grip.

No histrionics please: we’re only Welsh, after all. Land of many things Wales may be, but wild, soaring self-belief is rarely one of them.

That said, you should have watched Scrum V on BBC1 Wales last night. I note that BBC1 in the rest of the UK had different programming, while we in Wales got to soak up a little more of this weekend’s six-nations rugby-fest. As on Saturday France lost to Ireland and England stumbled around shambolically against an Italian side that had gallantly greed to play with one hand tied behind their backs (thus allowing the home side a chaotic and undeservedly flattering home victory), things could hardly have been better when completed by Wales cruising to a win in Scotland. 26-13, and they let themselves down badly in the last quarter of the game to win by so little.

Well, we enjoy our rugby, and we rarely get to enjoy it as much as this. There is normally so much negativity in Wales, and no-one ever seems to dare get caught in possession of a positive thought (that might jinx the team’s chances) that it was refreshing – and astounding – to see the entire TV panel grinning and smiling and generally, well, gleeful.

And no, they probably won’t win another Grand Slam, or even the tournament this year (there I go with the negativity), but it’s a delight to enjoy the moment.While we can. And yes, England being awful is always a bonus. Which isn’t to say they might not come to Cardiff and win next weekend, because part of the joy of rugby – all sport, I suppose (though rugby isn’t really a sport, but the One True Religion) – is that the upset is always so possible. However, every year the British media, by which I mean the overwhelmingly English media, talk up England to win, all the time – it’s always England as favorites, England as the team to watch, the team to beat. Yards of newspaper coverage, they get, and Wales get about half an inch. It makes me sick. It’s nice to see the roles reversed for a change, however briefly.

So perhaps I should be embarrassed at this, but good Welsh rugby acts as a real tonic to me. I remember last year, when I had a three-week continuous tonsillitis event, and was feeling very sorry for myself (something about not being able to swallow without pain for three weeks – and for the third time in as many months – was making me ‘unaccountably’ deranged: go figure) – my husband would whisper “16-12” to me, and that was enough to cheer me up. (That was the Wales-Ireland score a year ago.)

Remind me to tell you about the Cursed Shirt before next week’s game.

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