Friday, February 6, 2009

This Weekend Means Rugby

It's the start of the Six Nations this weekend and Ireland even though sporting a new coach and back-room team since the previous championship are carrying about as much optimism in to the series of matches as an economist in the current economic climate. The autumn internationals really did very little to increase confidence with New Zealand making short work of Irish resistance and a truly awful match against Argentina which Ireland managed to scrape through thanks mainly to a woefully under prepared third choice out-half for Argentina.

So it is with slight anxiety that we look forward to the visiting French this weekend in Croke Park. Marc Lievremont has also been struggling in the Autumn Internationals and he seems incapable of picking a team that is both coherent and reflects the best of French league rugby. With that in mind Ireland have decided to start Paddy Wallace in the 12 slot (he of the unfortunate traffic kone joke) with O'Driscoll outside him. Based on that selection expect a game that can best be described as aerial ping-pong with a premium being placed on set-piece execution.

This doesn't look like it is going to be a classic with a tight and tense affair to be expected. Winning this will really set the tone for the rest of the championship so an Irish win might just lead (dare we whisper it) to the mythical grand slam. Hopefully Ireland to shade it by about four but it does depend on what kind of French team turns up on the day.

I suppose for the day that's in it a sporting event deserves ultimate montage music to highlight either the glory of the agony of the occasion. So here is the soundtrack music, think sun rising, crowd arriving, team showing grit and determination to win, adulation guaranteed.

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