I try. I do, I do, I do, I do. It’s rugby world cup time these weeks and almost everyone I know is feverishly caught up in it. So I want to be too. Especially for Ireland, who won the (what’s it called again? oh yeah) Six Nations cup last year which qualifies them for undying support from every living, breathing Irish person…
But, the thing is… I’m totally crap at it! I know next to nothing about rugby and no amount of ‘come on Ireland!!’ screeches, thrown eagerly into the room during an Ireland-versus-anyone-else match can change that.
Last weekend, Ireland played France. I’d read here that the French media had been targeting Irish players quite vindictively beforehand, in a bit to psyche them out. This got my gander up. “We better really thrash them!” I spat vehemently to hubby, as we prepared for the showdown. He raised an eyebrow, surprised by my sudden interest.
As the game progressed I gave it my all. “That’s a bad tackle” I yelled, “he should be sent off for doing that!!”. “No love, that’s allowed in rugby” was his response. Five minutes later, “what kind of a ref is that!” I fumed, when France was -correctly – awarded a penalty (in truth, I spotted no reason for penalties throughout, scrums are just one big mash-up to me but I felt right was on my side this time because it was against ‘our lads in green’). As did most of the Irish spectators, methinks. We’re like that, us Irish. Big on the emotion, less on the rationalisation.
At times I was certain things were going too far. “The poor man’s head will be smashed in!” I whined in horror, watching a scrum, “look, look! The other guy’s boot is hovering over his skull!”. And when a second Irish player ended up on a stretcher, my indignation knew no limits, “what the hell… doesn’t anyone try to stop this insanity?”. You get the picture.
But at least I now know how teams can score (try = 5 points; conversion – 2 more). Proud of this new knowledge I totally over-used it, delighting in my expertise, “wow, now they only have to get a conversion and they’ll be 8 points ahead – right? Right?” I yelled. “Yes!” shouted hubby, “same as last time!” (patience finally wearing a wee bit thin).
By the time I’d double-checked that Ireland could only score in the left goal for the second half, and asked the difference between a rugby offside and a football one, he’d moved to the far end of the sofa. My run was finally over. Oh well, there’s still the quarter final to enjoy this weekend, I’m thinking of dragging out the Paddy’s Day stuff, just for the craic. There’s bound to be at least one good green wig somewhere in there…