Rugby Fantasies #7

 
 

I have an itchy trigger finger, and it’s all the IRB’s fault.

Why do the teams need a break anyway, they’ve only played two games each, it’s not like they can’t handle it. But no, they get the weekend off and I’m left to worry about whether my Beards are taking proper care of themselves. Do you know what it’s like to lie

If only he'd learned the Green Cross Code...

awake at night wondering if Jamie Heaslip is out on the tear and about to stagger out in front of a speeding bread van? And what if Tommy Bowe saw the snow and decided to go for a trek in the Mountains of Mourne, or the Breacon Beacons, wherever it is he was last week and had to be airlifted to safety by mountain rescue? And all because they gave them a weekend off. (Happy Birthday Tommy, hope the frostbite didn’t dampen the celebrations)

Last weekend was positively dull without the Six Nations, which doesn’t leave much hope for any of weekends between April and February of next year. The longer the hiatus goes on, the more I analyse the BGB for potential weaknesses. (There are none, clearly, we wouldn’t be riding high in second if there were.) But I have been gifted with a fairly active imagination, and Jamie’s close encounter with Pat the Baker is just the tip of the iceberg. (It’s a blessing…and a curse.)

The more time I have between games, the more I try to work out strategy for scoring the most number of points from this weekend’s fixtures. Yes that’s right, I said strategy. I’ve suddenly begun to think I actually know something about this game, even though I still couldn’t pick the Ireland team out of a line-up. The moderate success is going to my head, I don’t know anything about rugby, but as soon as I log on to the BGB homepage, all sense of self disappears and suddenly I am Sir Ian McGeechan, selecting players and dismissing them as if I even knew what their first initials stand for.

I’ve tried everything to stay away. I followed every rugby player I could find on Twitter (the Welsh lads are hilarious btw) but that just reminded me of rugby. (I’ll admit, I didn’t really think that one through.) I watched the curling and the figure skating. (Well I would have watched the figure skating anyway, I like the twizzles.) I watched several episodes of Home and Away that were clogging up the NTL box. I watched the Tigers beat Gloucester at the weekend. (Glad to report that Toby the Tiger is not still sitting on the bench in Stadio Flaminio, and is in fact somewhere in England, probably sitting on a bench. Or a couch. Either way, he’s likely not playing rugby. Go England!) And I read several more pages of Rugby Union for Dummies (again, not one for the forward thinking). None of it worked. The BGB were still in my thoughts at least ten minutes out of every day.

So yes, itchy trigger finger. Those little red ‘x’s are calling to me, begging for the team to be rejigged, and the longer I have to wait until the next game, the more tempting it is to make changes. I’ve clicked some people out, then copped on and put them back in. Then clicked them out again, then put them back in. Then played some sporcle. Then gone back and clicked them back out again. It needs to stop. Someone needs to play some rugby, or at least block that website. (Please don’t block the website, I’ll be good I swear)

I have been lucky though, Woods has been on hand to scoff at my attempts at rationalising team changes. I know I don’t need another Scot, but they’re playing Italy this week, so maybe they’ll score more points than my French dudes. But when are the Scots ever going to score me more points than my French dudes? Never, that’s when. And just because Lee Byrne thinks jacuzzi is spelt with a ‘g’ doesn’t make him a bad person – he was probably learning how to ruck that day of school. But I just want something to do.

The root of this whole problem is actually the best thing about the BGB, and I know from my recent run-in with karma that as soon as I say it, things are going to go to hell. But here goes: I have no injury worries.

They’re all ok. I didn’t have Supreme Neck, or that particular Jones. None of my players would ever steal a golf buggy and be silly enough to get caught. I only have one token Scot, and he’s fine. I didn’t have Clerc, or Orangutan, and BGB posterboy is still plodding along in his rolled down socks.

Even the selections have only thrown up one change for me, and frankly I’ve been dying to offload that dead weight since week one. Sorry Gareth Cooper, but I don’t even know what a scrum-half is supposed to do, and yet I still know you’re doing it wrong. Wrong and bad. Wrong and bad and…no that’s really mean. I feel sorry for Gareth, not only has he been usurped by Richie Rees but he’s not even on the bench anymore. His name was not called and he just had to return to the hotel, pack his belongings and leave – never again to be in the running towards becoming Wales’s top scrum-half. At least Tyra gives them a hug Warren Gatland, did you give him a hug?

And as for Ronan O’Gara, I haven’t a clue what to make of that. Eh, sure why not give Sextoy a go? Is that the right answer?

Rawr

All I know for sure is that Geordan Murphy is back in the Ireland team in place of St Necky, and not only is he a Tiger, but he has lovely hair.

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