Apparently my beginner’s luck is starting to run out.
Not only were three Beards not starting last weekend and I only had three transfers left and really needed to keep one for this weekend coming. But also stupid other coaches (I’m looking at you Warren Gatland) decided to take most of my players off before full-time. The chances of finishing this foray into international test rugby in a blaze of glory are dimming by the hour. There’s still a chance of glory, but I fear it will more resemble a rapidly-burning-down match than a pyre.
Oh Wales, what did I ever do to you? Apart from the mocking, and the insults. And the laughing.
You cast Ryan Jones asunder, I pick Martyn Williams. He’s dependable in a dull sort of way. Sure he probably wont score any tries, but hey, you’re playing Ireland, no one wants your Welsh tries here. So I figured he was a sure enough bet to at least play the game out. Alas Wales wanted something more than just plodding along, so off Williams came and there went the first of many of my points.
Richie Rees wasn’t performing either so they kicked him to the bench, and as for Lee Byrne. Well, don’t even go there. Actually wait, I’ll go there. Curse you Lee Byrne, and your little dog too. How could you get yourself sinbinned you idiot? I’m starting to suspect he wasn’t all that innocent in the infamous 16th man-gate. He clearly has less clue of the rules of rugby than I do, and that’s actually shocking since he plays for a living. What a tool. So the Welsh BGB finished the match on the bench, and we really could have used that extra three points.
There were a few consolations from the Ireland-Wales game nonetheless. First, Ireland won. Yay. Second, no one (and I do mean no one) had Keith Earls so we’re all losers here. Third was that BOD got an assist, thank you Brian, I know you know it means a lot to the Beards, you’re a true bearded hero.
None of my Irish or Welsh Beards got injured either, so there was also that to take away from the game. It did however rather put the pressure on my English Beards and token.
I had made the tough call not to swap Lewis Moody out last week, I really wanted to keep that one transfer for this week, and I think I made the right decision. England were never going to score a try, whatever hope Scotland had. Even Mad Dog coming on in the second half couldn’t help, but I did get a point!
Of course the biggest thing that happened in that match was that all my ill-feeling towards Jonny finally came to fruition and he hobbled off. I was genuinely delighted to see Toby the Tiger coming on for England, even though it meant I wouldn’t benefit from any more Wilko points. I even texted News Ed to make sure she was watching his triumphant return from bench exile. (She wasn’t) I didn’t actually want Jonny injured though, I’m not Scottish.
I do feel a bit gutted for Toby though, maybe if he’d scored that drop goal people would shut up about Jonny. Alas it wasn’t to be, and now all the people who hated Wilko last week are saying if only he’d been there he’d surely have scored, but don’t listen to them Toby. Jonny is the past, you’re the future of the BGB and no one but no one is going to change that. (As long as Jonny doesn’t start against France of course, then you’re so out)
Apart from the last second drop goal, the match was horrendously boring. Come to think of it, so was Ireland-Wales. It’s a good thing this wasn’t the last weekend, it would be the worst anti-climax ever – worse than knowing Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze.
Luckily there was still Sunday, I had a feeling it would be exciting, but I also knew that it would be the Beards’ downfall. Even though Poitrenaud is beautiful, I changed from Bastareuad to Jauzion, because even though I figured Marty or Andreu might be more likely to score, they’d also be more likely not to play against England. Maybe I’m overthinking this whole fantasy rugby thing. If I’d gone for Marty I would have had and extra five points, but then nothing next week. Would have been nice to be first for once, however fleeting. But I did the sensible thing and it cost us on Sunday.
My biggest regret of the whole France issue was picking Dusautoir, who hasn’t played a full match since week one. Harinordoquy was super again, and scored himself, France and the Beards a try, but he’s one of those players that everyone picked so it cancelled itself out.
Woods had managed to escape the injury/dropping bullet and had made two ‘unforced but necessary’ changes. He’d brought in Parra and some useless England player. The important one was Parra. Damn him and his tactics, I knew the French would run riot over Italy, and it was rather brilliant to watch them in action, but did they have to give him so many conversions? And he got the first assist.
Watching it unfold, I was engulfed by a profound sense of loss. That right there tells me I’m in way too deep and need to get a life quick. It actually made me sad to realise not only would I not be challenging for first, but that I’d probably slip to third. Which I did. By a point. I could cry.