Saturday 15 October 2011

An Echo of 1980

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear what a travesty! And am I alone in detecting an echo of 1980 in today's game? Back then England beat Wales 9 - 8 against the tide of history following the controversial sending off early in the game of my hero and fellow-flanker Paul Ringer, one of the seriously hard men of Welsh rugby - that's putting it politely and I don't suppose Sam Warburton would take too kindly to being compared with this legendary tough.

Like today on that occasion Wales won on tries (2 - 0 in fact - only four for a try in those days) in a game that was dubbed the "Battle of Twickenham" because of the brutal aggression shown by the Welsh from the start. Indeed the sending off was a case of making an example following a lot of fierce play, something which today's ref could not point to.

I was at university (in England) at the time and watched the game at a friend's house with a crowd of England supporters who became prissy and self-righteous about the uncompromising Welsh tactics and I took a lot of stick naturally when England kicked their winning penalty in the closing seconds.

I've still got my "Paul Ringer is innocent" T-shirt somewhere.