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Wales v England (woad all round)

There’s not much that takes my fancy telly-wise, so the first match of the Six Nations rugby last night seemed like a bit of treat. I used to watch international games on the box fairly regularly, but either there’s less on free to view tv these days, or I’m not free to view it anyway.

Anway, what Friday night razzamatazz! Leaping flames, smoke flares, loud music, marching bands, flashing lights and the regimental goat: you might have taken it for the Super Bowl two days early (another sport I used to be free to view). The build up was not like rugby at all. Then after the national anthems (and the Welsh have no rivals in this department), they started playing, and then it pretty much looked as it always did. I was a bit worried about the goat, in amongst all the noise and shenanigans, but it seemed to take it in its stride, under the care of the Goat Major.

I don’t have a handle on all the language to give a proper match report; there will be plenty out there for anyone who missed it. At one point one of the commentators said: From these little things (long pause as the brain engaged) Do Big Consequences (even longer pause as word scrabbling became silently frantic) Ensue from them (not quite triumphantly, but with relief to have got a sort of sentence out).

I don’t blame him for tripping over his choice of words, there’s a lot wot goes on a rugby field. Line-outs, rucks, knock ons, into touch, penalties, tries, conversions, field goals, sideways and backwards throwing, forward running and a lot of taking players out hard.

By the end of the match (which England won), most of the players were covered in blue woad which had apparently rubbed off the grass from the sponsors of the match logo. They had blue on their shorts and shirts, blue faces and ears and one of them even had blue teeth. Not a good look, along with the mud and blood and spit and tufts of hair and proliferation of deformed ears. Take a tip from football, or indeed racing and project your logo onto the grass guys. We don’t really want our international rugby stars looking like they’ve been rolling around in a giant ink pad for 80 minutes. It was extra annoying because the sponsors were the Royal Bank of Scotland. Weren’t they one of the banks I bailed out? If you can only afford to paint your logo directly on the grass – I’d say don’t bother.

One player, who left the pitch as pristine as he joined it, was England sub Johnny Wilkinson. This is because when he is not kicking he is running away from the rucks pointing at people and shouting a bit. Very sensible Johnny. You are an oldie like me and your hair is always very neat and tidy (not like me) and we know you have had loads of injuries so, you carry on love.

Johnny Wilkinson

Regimental Goat