Rugby Fantasies #8

 
 

Well another week, another week off. Seriously, these are professional athletes, do they really need all these breaks?

At least I had an exciting weekend last week. Well apart from the Wales-France game, that was epic shit. Not only were two of the French Beards subbed for what I could surmise as no good reason, but none of them even came close to scoring. It really was a shocking game for us Fantasy Rugby-ers, no assists for the French either, they just nicked it both times and ran. Sigh.

As for the Welsh, well my new scrum-half managed to play a full eighty minutes, which is a fairly good start. At least I don’t have to look at him with a great big ‘0’ beside his name anymore. But really the best thing that’s happened all week was the news that Andy Powell got a fifteen-month driving ban for the golf buggy incident. Personally I think that’s a little harsh, but then that might be the Irish in me. If that had been Paul O’Connell, or maybe even John Hayes, we probably would have named the golf buggy after them and presented it to them as a gift, before giving them the freedom of Ballymena.

Regardless, Friday’s match wasn’t the best for me in terms of points scoring, but luckily everyone else was in the same boat. And even luckier again, the one person sitting above me in the table had forgotten to remove Clerc from his team – sweet.

We managed to sit down and watch the first half over Observer dinner, but quickly lost interest once the food was gone and returned to more exciting activities such as proofing copy. What a match.

And so on to Saturday. I wasn’t expecting much from the Italy-Scotland game, so it was quite a pleasant surprise when I found myself completely engrossed in watching Italy actually win. Now I may be a highly successful Fantasy Six Nations manager, but I’m not an authority on rugby just yet, so it was a bit shocking to see Scotland struggle. Apparently it wasn’t all that unexpected to everyone else, and by everyone else I mean the three (well, four) idiots on RTÉ. Thankfully Saturday is the last time I’ll have to listen to Hook et al this Six Nations as I can return to the blessed BBC for next week. God bless Keith Wood and his penchant for letting people talk without shouting over them –  oh how I’ve missed you.

Alas I only have three Beards from this encounter, and none of them managed to rack up the points. I have definitely won the Barclay – Beattie debate however. And I repaid him by reading his blog again. He’s sitting pretty on 21 fantasy points to Beattie’s mere six. I know I shouldn’t gloat, I know it will come back to bite me in the bum, but I’m so very happy that I picked exactly the right token Scot based on no knowledge whatsoever.

As for my lovely BGB mascot, well he had a pretty good game on Saturday but didn’t manage to score a try (he did manage one today, but alas it doesn’t count). He was still immense for Italy though, and that’s good enough for me. For now.

Although can I just say, and excuse my French here, Dan Parks Man of the Match – double you tea eff?

Tommy Bowe on the other hand, well I knew he’d come good. The boys laughed at me when I cheered on Saturday. Well Killian laughed, Gav looked a little despondent at having not picked Tommy Bowe, but I think deep, deep down, under the tears, he was a little amused.

Oh Tommy what a Big Gay Beard you are, now second on the points scored table. I don’t mind his less than brilliant games anymore. I don’t mind that he once had dinner in Swansea with “her”. I don’t even mind that he’s the scamp who scored for Ospreys that time. What I do mind is that everyone else (apart from Gavan) has him in their team too.

Regardless of team overlaps, Ireland-England was very profitable for the BGB, especially since Heaslip is in the ranks too. Poor BOD was stretchered off, but I hear he’s fine so all is good in Beardy land. No injury worries just yet, and no one has been dropped *cough* Jonny *cough*.

Some things sort of rugby related did come to my attention during the week though. One is that we, as a team and a nation (Ireland not Gaybeardia) are truly horrendous at singing our anthem. Not only is Ireland’s Call our specially written Ireland rugby anthem, but it’s a far better tune than Amhrán na bhFiann, so why can’t we sing it? I know it doesn’t help that the version played in Twickenham appears to have been recorded under water, but if the team don’t even sing it, how are we supposed to get behind it? The crowd were belting out the Fields of Athenry, so maybe we should make that the new anthem. Although I do feel it very exclusionary to the rest of the country, especially considering Connacht’s utter crapness. Yes Connacht, I caught you, I know your secret.

Two is that spider cam appears to have been curtailed, praise be. From what I saw there were no aerial shots of scrums or rucks, and no one had to risk decapitation when running with the ball, so a big thank you to all those people who wrote letters to Points of View, I finally agree with your whinging for once. Although do give over about the Breakfast News weather background. No really, put the pen down and get a life.

Anyway the Big Gay Beards are still sitting in second place, but we have closed the gap to just the one teeny, tiny point. This week off has been rather hectic with the absolute disaster that is Fantasy Premier League. Not only have I been too busy to start messing with the Beards’ selection, but I have also learned a valuable lesson from the lamentable FunLaoghaire Pirates. The lesson is this: don’t f**k around with your team. I’ve dropped a whole 3 places to fifth, and Woods is closing the gap in sixth. The only solace is that Team News are riding high in second, and steadily catching on the powerhouse that is Fenno’s AC Slater. This is your week Team News, don’t forget me when you’re top.

With the lull in Six Nations action I’ve had to get my rugby fix from following the lads on Twitter for the past week. Sadly they’ve all gone a bit quiet, especially the Welsh. The only ones still tweeting with any enthusiasm are Care Bear and James Haskell.

It would appear that tabletennis is the new sport de jour of not-playing rugby teams, they’re all at it, even the Irish. Also Danny Care got a haircut this week, just thought you should all know. Meanwhile the Stade Français One has been keeping suspiciously quiet about his hostage takers, I fear he may have developed Stockholm Syndrome. Perhaps the French should send in an elite extraction team to get him out (maybe they could use Jonny Wilkinson as a human shield, just a flesh wound would do.) Maybe I’ll go make a banner…

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