Last Sunday we descended on Connaught Park, home of the Legends, with a certain swagger and an air of supreme confidence, due in no small part to our demolition of Seattle the previous weekend, the team not the city of course. That victory hinged on a seamless display from our backs who were scoring for fun, passing in an exemplary manner, catching every pass and high ball thrown their way, tackling swashbucklingly, and generally playing with a certain joie de vivre. It couldn’t possibly go wrong, we had the nucleus of the same back line as the previous week.
Five minutes before kick off one of their chaps nonchalantly inquires if perchance they could play 4 vastly under age Irishman so as they could have a full team. As we stared at him in total disbelief, he informed us that they were in fact Gaelic football players and not rugby players ,as if that made it just peachy. Due possibly to the early onset of senile dementia we agreed, as the game got underway I was mathematically confused as to why they would need them and still have 5 subs on the side line who looked twice their age.
It quickly became apparent that our backs had either been paid off by a Malaysian betting syndicate, or were having a very, very bad day at the office. It was a comedy of errors and rugby was definitely not the winner. Not only were they not singing off the same hymn sheet, they didn’t seem to be in the same choir, especially the one singing in Hindi. They were frolicking around as if they liked pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. Fortunately the opposition was possibly even worse. It wasn’t all doom and gloom however, Woodreau intercepted one of their equally bad passes to run half the field and score and he also picked up one of their dodgy kicks to run in another try. Frederic the flanker, a.k.a. ” Frenchy ” , I’m not sure where he’s from, then runs with great gusto, and passionate panache through 5 or 6 of their forwards to score un essai magnifique, formidable mon ami! I quickly realized that I am wasting my time with all this low calorie ” Nouvelle Cuisine “, here is obviously a Frenchman who isn’t substituting cream or butter for anything remotely healthy and he is knocking them over like skittles, or possibly bowling pins. Tight head Dave ( Beirut Billy ) almost scored after running through almost as many players and getting stopped just short of their line, and I haven’t been in one restaurant where he’s ordered a garden salad. Note to self, back on a strict regime of bacon sandwiches from now on. Now one back who redeemed himself by out forwarding the forwards was Joachim, who was one almighty mother rucker, I thought he must be the replacement hooker, he came off the wing so many times to be the first to ruck over the ball that I was quite astounded, because frankly we may have just shaded the close front row battle but our rucking wasn’t up to snuff, except for our diminutive Argentinian winger.
So despite the calamitous state of play, at the end of the 3rd quarter with only 15 minutes to go we were 3-1 up, what could possibly go wrong.
Team Ireland had finally sobered up and had also realized that being half our age could work to their advantage. They started running through us , around us and they even jumped over tackles , oblivious to the illegality of such deviant behaviour, they ran in a couple of late tries, and one of their fast black lads also scampered past us and over the line because he could. 4-3 down and the ref blew his whistle.
They say time is a great healer and a few red truck I.P.A. ‘s later we couldn’t remember who we played never mind the score, although I was fairly convinced that we were not in our own club house, the mountains seemed further back.
Woodreau got another M.O.M. hat to add to his collection and the Legends hosted us very well.