Swamped by a Sea of Red: Ireland vs Wales

Sigh… feeling a bit depressed… Wales has just beaten Ireland 16-12.

I hope it wasn’t because we were late and thus missed singing the anthems and cheering on the kick-off… and I really hope Ireland didn’t lose because I was – horror of horrors! – wearing a bright red and white Nike t-shirt in an Irish pub! I felt distinctly out of place, hoping fervently that none of the very vocal supporters of the Irish team were going to take offence at the complete absence of green in my choice of clothing. I definitely have to do some clothes shopping before St Patrick’s Day.

When we arrived, Ireland were 6-0 ahead, having earned two penalties. It wasn’t long after, though, that Wales started to plough across onto the Irish half. Ireland almost scored a beautiful, elegant try, but the Welsh were just too fast and too heavy, and threw all their combined weight onto Shane Horgan. According to the television umpire, it wasn’t a try. Well, personally, I thought it was a darn good try! Sigh…

And then Wales got a penalty shot, making it 6-3 for Ireland. One of the Welsh was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes just before half-time, because he had kneed one of the Irish in the back of the ribs while he was down. Urgh, it did look rather painful.

After half-time, Wales kept possession of the ball, despite the fact that they were 1 player down. They scored a penalty, making it 6-6, and then the one and only try of the match (admittedly a spectacular one), which was (a loud groan of frustration from everyone in the pub) converted to surge ahead to 6-13.

Thank goodness, this outrageous turn of events seemed to spur Ireland on, and they fought back extremely hard and stubbornly, earning two more penalties to make the score 12-13. There was hope again! Our spirits lifted! And we all got really excited when another of the Welsh team was sent off for 10 mins for tripping an Irish player.

Alas, victory was not to be after all.

6 minutes from the end, a big hulking Irish player threw himself right ONTO a ‘huddle’ (or whatever that mess of arms and legs is called where the ball is underneath everyone), which was clearly “just not cricket” (pardon the inappropriate metaphor). Wales promptly earned another 3 points for a penalty, and then basically sat (or lay) on the ball until time was up. It was soooo frustrating!

The fact that there were interruptions in satellite reception (just the picture, the sound was fine) during the last 5 mins of the game didn’t exactly help the mood in the pub. When the final whistle was blown, there was some slow clapping and everyone morosely downed their drinks. And I thought it best to depart quickly, in case my red shirt was blamed for Ireland’s misfortune.

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For other posts on this blog related to Ireland and the Irish, click on:

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