“I’m not bovvered,” rasped the women with the curiously Geordie accent and I echoed those sentiments as I contemplated Declan Kidney’s summer tour to New Zealand.
I simply struggle to summon even a half hearted token of interest in the 3 game series.
Curiously I opened a previous blog to do a ‘save as’ for this one and found sentiments that could as easily be repeated.
This was my blog for the Irish team to New Zealand for the World Cup…….deja view!
‘My mind is a blank page, an empty vessel, devoid of rhyme and reason …’
‘Already the pundits and messageboard writers have written themselves into the ground …’
‘… the UAFC messageboard dribbles along as though caught in the middle of gang warfare. Rational debate tries to grow like grass in a garden of weeds’.
‘Consensus is a foreign word for some of these posters …’
‘Consensus for Irish media rugby pundits remains a tantalising prospect, like a yet to be discovered star in the solar system. How can so many informed punters analyse so radically different views on Irish rugby players.
‘Where all of this leaves the much maligned Padraig O’Wallace is anyone’s guess …’
‘Every action by Paddy is qualified by the pundits as being ‘surprisingly’, ‘unfortunately’, ‘but’ or ‘perhaps’……… Yet on Saturdays evidence he offers more at the moment than the combined ‘might’ of Ireland’s perennial midfielders, one of whom was rusty and the other had holes in him’.
Paddy’s form wasn’t a passport to New Zealand this time round though Gordon D’Arcy had no problem despite patchy form, at best.
‘There is unlikely to be many surprises on the plane to New Zealand for the Irish and there’ll be a growing ground swell of pessimism for their prospects from all but the most green tinted, glasses wearing, Irish supporters’.
Well that actually saved me having to write it all over again. I’ll summon enough energy to get up early Saturday morning and watch the game but it will be a close run thing.
If the weather’s good I’ll take to the roads on my bike.
Equilibrium restored in a manner of speaking as by chance, (I forgot initially), I tuned in time to see the second half of Monday’s Junior World Cup.
Ireland played the rugby, beat the baby Boks on their home turf and in the Danie Craven stadium of all places. They were good value for the victory.
How they’ll fair against the English gym robotons is difficult to guess although this victory was based on hard edged physicality against the typically physical baby Boks.
Hopefully Ireland have plenty left in the tank because the England match will be another stock car race of bang, wallop and thump.
England will not be as complacent as the South Africans!!
Days of Buns ‘n’ Poses
Over the past weeks there has been enough warm sunshine to make an exiled Springbok think he was back in his native Durban.
Sunday week ago I rode out on the ‘Over The Quoile’ sportive. It’s a 45 mile cycle organised by the Lanterne Rouge club with some of the proceeds going to charity.
The route went from Loughinisland through Strangford and back with a couple of motorcycle outriders providing security at road junctions by stopping traffic.
When the temperature rose and the winds increased, our group of 25-30 starters thinned as we pedalled along rough exposed coastal roads towards Strangford.
A damsel in distress from the Dromara club found no shortage of helpers when she punctured in Killough.
The pit stop in Strangford was in the shadow of the Cuan pub, with welcome refreshments laid on by the LRCC club members and then it was back on the road again.
Turning for home through Crossgar it was every man and women for themselves as the group splintered due to tiredness and the burning sun drained every last drop of energy.
Sadly a rider hit a pothole and was taken to hospital with a broken vertebrae and other injuries.
Our roads are just like our weather, with four seasons in one day, we also have 3 road surfaces in one mile.
That was the buns, now for the poses …
I’m amazed at the amount of expensive cycling machinery and posey gear on view, not to mention gearing.
I didn’t realise when I started cycling, (my aim being to lose weight), that so much attention is paid to the look!
One has been dragged into looking the part with shades, not quite skin tight lycra, (allowance for waistline incorporated) and even a water bottle that matches the bike!!!
I have slowly concluded that the gear, whilst posey, is also practical in many respects. For example, wrap around shades do keep the grit and dirt from the eyes, whilst the skin tight shorts are comfortable with decent padding to the rear.
As a warning to all you wannabee road cyclists out there, buying the bike is just the start! Decent helmet, jerseys and tyres will knock you back a few hundred quid!!!
The Versatility of the Norn Iron People
Pedrie Wannenberg remarked in an interview, how Norn Iron people just got on with it even when the weather turned bad. South Africans, (presumably Durbanites), cower in their homes by contrast.
Conversely it never ceases to amaze me when the weather turns good how they adapt to the latest turn of the temperature.
Camper vans in full bloom, barbecues smoking like mini foundries and of course our local youth congregating on the beach like lepers let out of the colony for a day.
Never-ending World of URSC
Photos of the redoubtable URSC chairman Mr. Kimble having a meeting of hands with renowned deputy First Minister McGuninness were on show prior to the start of the Supporters club AGM.
What was said between the pair has not been recorded for posterity but there was clearly a look of satisfaction on the part of their visage that records satisfaction.
The URSC committee at the top table comprised of 4 males and 1 female, with 2 wearing glasses, 1 occasionally wearing glasses to read, 1 had a moustache, (not the female obviously) and 1 had a beard.
By the time the exhaustive democratic election, the unambivalent100% show of hands rubber stamping had concluded, the committee at the top table were composed of 4 males and 1 female, 2 wearing glasses, 1 occasional glasses wearer, 1 with a moustache, (not the female) and 1 with a beard.
Shane’s world domination part 2.
Shane outlined a more elongated programme than previously realised for this ambitious project.
We learned that a circular tent into which spectators could retire to practice their chanting prior to the match had been eliminated from the plans.
Instead there would now be a circular changing room below the main stand for the team, in which they could practice jihad before the match by circulating in clockwise fashion whilst punching the air to warm up.
This guaranteed diversity to the Ulster ethos and would be inclusive of minorities. The terracing will be so inclusive of the pitchside that you’ll be able to hear the players think!!
At least some of them!!