Monday 11 March 2013


Yesterday I am at the old St Helen's ground in Swansea watching Wales' Under 18s being comprehensively beaten by England (44 - 7 if you must know) in a freezing wind blowing off the Bay.

I'm no aficionado having peaked myself aged twelve and gone downhill from there (see this post) but I am here accompanying an old friend of my Mum's who has travelled from S E England to watch her grandson playing scrum-half for the wrong - sorry I mean the winning - side. Incidentally she and her daughter who is also present easily out-shout the Welsh spectators while I and Mrs Blog pretend we are not in their party.

The game is rather one-sided and our boys are not helped by the fact that the opposition has a prodigious kicker (complete with that annoying Jonny Wilkinson stance - but I understand it's the done thing now across the border and it certainly works for this fellow).

His only mistake is to get a conversion charged down in front of the posts, something I've never seen before though I remember optimistically attempting it myself on numerous occasions being one of the tallest in many a substandard side and so getting plenty of opportunities.

It was oddly cathartic to see it done finally thirty years after hanging up my boots - proper high-sided things with fearsome, weapons-grade metal studs which we always said were "safer", not a view shared by the miserable wretch at the bottom of a ruck flailed mercilessly and self-righteously because he "wouldn't get out of the way, sir, honest".

Ah, happy days indeed.