Hoping That Some Calcio Storico Will Break Out In This Horrorshow Of A Match

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National Stereotypes and Psychology

E crept past S, who were hammered by W, who won late against I, so E v I = ?

The English never fear the French. The French never fear the Irish. The Irish no longer fear the Welsh. The French are always wary of the Scots. The Welsh fear nobody, but hate the Irish (according to Gatland). The Scots always fancy themselves against the English. The Irish don’t know how to beat the French and when it happens it’s by accident. Ireland love the English as favourites, and always assume they can beat them. Continue reading

Match Reaction #3: All Kinds Of Everything

Morrison has Tommy Bowe pinned for the one-two-three! Whatchu gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you, brutha?

This was an oddly splintered sort of match, which suffered quite badly from the spectator’s point of view from innumerable breaks in play. The Mole doesn’t want to belittle the injury suffered by Scottish winger Lee Jones in a clash of heads with Andrew Trimble; while that provided for the longest delay, it was a fair and correct call from referee Pollock in order to safeguard the health of the player.  Continue reading

Match Reaction #1: Rory Best’s Try

Chunk Jacobsen has gotten past the Healy-Ross contain, but it's too little and too late: Best has smashed through Mike Blair and is about to dot down Ireland's first try of the day.

The Mole enjoyed Liam Toland’s early morning article in today’s Irish Times – a good read all the way through, and you can tell that he enjoyed the technicality of Rory Best’s opening score, a well-contrived lineout move that created a potent mismatch of running a big forward at a small back over a short distance. Continue reading

Revenge Of The Alistairs?

Scotland are on the up, powered by youngsters like Gray, Denton and Hogg and steeled by a couple of captains in Ford and Barclay.

The attacking threat posed by the Scots on Saturday is sharper than it has been for a number of years; no Irish fan should underestimate the task in hand. Even before Ireland suffered the loss of O’Connell, Murray and O’Brien, their opponents had shown with their last display that they would be a handful. Continue reading

Match Preview #1: Ireland vs Scotland

The mighty Fangio is reporting that captain-elect Rory Best is a significant worry for Ireland’s forthcoming clash against Scotland. Besty had a relatively poor day with the darts against a super-charged French lineout, but the Ulsterman has been in the form of his career for both country and province over the past season and is a well-respected member of the leadership group.  Continue reading

Scotland v France Match Preview

Gauloise in Hand, Sun on Back

The Six Nations creates its own reality. Teams that routinely finish with a high winning percentage but do not win Grand Slams aren’t “great” – think turn of the century England and noughties Ireland – while average teams that win a Grand Slam – think Mike Ruddock’s Wales – have greatness thrust upon them. These examples should be qualified. Both the England and Ireland sides in question finally got over the line and won a Grand Slam, earning greatness. Wales won a total of 4 games from 20 in the two seasons both before and after their 2005 Grand Slam. Continue reading