After Part 1 of an all-day meditation course, in which we (among other things) learned about the essencelessness of existence, I felt a strong need to reclaim my sense of identity.
And I also needed to balance my fragile sense of spirituality and equanimity with some raw power and masculinity by going to Catú to see the Six Nations Rugby match between Ireland and Scotland.
Richard phoned the chap-in-charge to confirm the starting time of the match (the TV-programme as usual was rather vague on this, perhaps because of the time-difference between Ireland and South Africa), and asked whether he could book a table for three in our name. We picked up my Mom at 18:30 and drove down into the centre of the city, where we fortuitously found parking right outside the Pub. Much to my astonishment, a table had indeed been reserved for us with a big notice saying “Reserved for Richard”! Aaahhh, goosh…. (These things cannot be taken for granted.)
When we arrived, the Super-14 match between the Stormers and the Sharks was almost finished. We quickly ordered toast and salads, bangers and mash, and drinks. Neither Windhoek nor Hansa Beer are on the beer-list (the waitress offered Castle, Amstel or Peroni) … although we later spotted the words “Hansa Pilsner” on their blackboard… gotta double-check that next time. Honestly, an Amstel just does not taste nice – perhaps because of my genetic connection (as offspring of Swakopmund’s beer-brewing family) to beer made according to the Deutsches Reinheitsgebot.
We had such a lovely waitress – she was friendly, helpful, full of smiles, and didn’t even mind when we moved one table further back so that we had a better view of the two TV screens.
When the SA match ended, the smaller screen was switched over to the start of the Ireland/Scotland match at Croke Park, while the larger screen started showing another Super-14 match (fortunately, they didn’t give both commentaries!). There was a huge pillar splitting the big screen in two, and our necks were getting a crick from peering up at the small screen, so our amazingly thoughtful waitress grabbed yet another table for us, from where we had the perfect line of sight.
The anthems were played, I sang along enthusiastically (as I think I was the only one in the pub, I kept my voice below the ambient sound level), and then the match started with Ireland kicking off. The first 15 mins or so were rather tense, with Scotland repeatedly in Ireland’s half and the Irish scrambling to block them. And then, all of a sudden, Ireland raced halfway across the field for a magnificent try right between the posts. Everyone applauded and shouted loudly! Ronan O’Gara converted with a neat kick through the middle of the posts. 5 mins later the Scots got a penalty, but then Ireland raced off for another spectacular try, which was again elegantly converted by O’Gara. By half-time it was 14-6, and we breathed a sigh of relief.
In the second half, the Scots fought back, pushing the Irish right back to their line. Things got a bit physical, but fortunately they did not get out of hand and Ireland took charge of the game, fighting back stubbornly whenever the Black jerseys got into their half. It was great!
Scotland snuck through a truly impressive try right between the posts somewhere around the 50th minute and converted it successfully, but they did not gain any more points. Two of their players were injured at the end – one seriously enough to require a motorised stretcher (a zippy little car that looks like a golf cart). Ireland got another try in the last few minutes of the game, but didn’t manage to convert.
Nonetheless, the final score was an impressive 34-13!!
You can read the proper match commentary here.
For other posts on this blog related to Ireland and the Irish, click on: