22 Mar

Is Rugby War?

  • Yesterday was odd; Marian was at a colleague’s wedding and the final three matches of the Six Nations Rugby Championship were showing on BBC1 in succession from 1.30 to around 7.00 p.m. Yielding to temptation like that was easy, especially as the final game was Wales v Ireland. Wales needed to win by 13+ points to win the championship, while Ireland needed a straight win for the championship and the grand slam, which they’d last achieved 61 years ago. At half time Wales was 6 points ahead and Ireland needed the talking to they must have got, because the second half was a high tension game. Finally, in the dying minutes a penalty kick by Wales could have given them a one point lead, denying Ireland glory. The ball fell short and Ireland got the championship and grand slam. What a finish! Hopping channels before the wedding guest returned led me to ITV4’s documentary on D-Day in 1944, which made me wonder whether the battered rugby champs were vicarious warriors for the six nations. We have had generations of relative peace in Europe, at least between nations. Today in Sydney airport two motor cycle gangs clashed, leaving one man dead. Aggression is deep in human nature, so thank the Lord if rugby has a safety valve effect. For me, though I am Welsh, I was able to cheer Ireland’s victory; just as well, as I have an Irish daughter-in-law.

22 March, 2009