Wales can beat the All Blacks tomorrow

Nothing I’ve seen so far during this Autumn series has given me any confidence about Wales’s chances in next year’s Rugby World Cup. A narrow-ish defeat to Australia. A second half capitulation against South Africa, and a humiliating draw with Fiji. We’re missing a decision-maker in the three quarters (you all know which perma-tanned ballroom-dancing ponce I’m referring to), and whenever Gethin Jenkins is absent, our back row are cruelly exposed as a bunch of part-time show-boaters. But in spite of these deep flaws, I still believe we can beat New Zealand tomorrow.

As Andy Howell might say, “let’s look at the facts.” Shall we start with a head-to-head?

Lee Byrne vs. Mils Muliaina: Grand Slammer & British Lion vs. ever present at the last two Kiwi world cup chokes

George North vs. Isaia Toeava: Man-child-mountain vs. who?

Tom Shanklin vs. Conrad Smith: Double Grand Slam winner & Lion vs. double world cup choker

James Hook vs. Sonny Bill Williams: Double Grand Slam winner, Lion & French Fancy vs. show-boating big-handed leaguey

Tom James vs. Hosea Gear: Run Forrest Run vs. Run Forrest Run

Stephen Jones vs. Dan Carter: Game Manager vs. Armchair General

Mike Phillips vs. Jimmy Cowan: Crazy Horse vs. Why The Long Face

Gethin Jenkins vs. Tony Woodcock: Peerless vs. Uncle Buck

Matthew Rees vs. Kevan Mealamu: Head Boy vs. Head Butt

Adam Jones vs. Owen Franks: Beastmaster vs. Spanked

Bradley Davies vs. Brad Thorn: Madly vs. Sadly

Alun-Wyn Jones vs. Sam Whitelock: Great Lock vs. Shite Lock

Dan Lydiate vs. Jerome Kaino: Young Guns go for it

Sam Warburton vs. Richie McCaw: Servant vs. Master

Ryan Jones vs. Kieran Reed: Ryan The Lion vs. Reed ‘em and weep

So by my reckoning, Wales have superiority in 10 positions on the pitch, we’re evenly matched in two positions and NZ are only top dogs in three positions (OK, two of those are in the back row, probably the crucial area).

So Wales will win. It’ll be close. Within a score. Our strong tight five and experienced half-backs will give us a platform. All we need is the mental strength to front up to the All Blacks. Every breakdown will be a contest we must win, and it can be done. We need to use our brains.

Munster to accept IRB loan

Bankrupt backwater Ireland was again reeling last night after once more being forced to accept international aid. Leading Irish province and rolling maul exponent Munster has been forced into accepting an embarrassing, emergency bailout from the IRB, the Magners League and novelty ginger wig manufacturers. The move follows years of big spending by the Irish region which has attracted international superstars such as Doug Howlett and Chris Wyatt. It’s understood the bailout could run into hundreds of pounds.

The IRB has placed strict conditions on the loan which will see Munster having to drastically reduce their cost base. Moves under consideration apparently involve sacking all three quarters from the squad. “At the end of the day we really only use 9 players, 10 at a push. We can cut costs by a third and not have to change our game plan or training regime” said Director of Rugby Tony McGahan.

The IRFU welcomed the move explaining that it helped them out of a potentially embarrassing situation. “If Munster went bust we’d have to let Connaught into the Heineken Cup and that’s something we never want to see” said an unnamed spokesman.

Lifelong supporter Gerry McGerry was understandably distraught. “It’s a disaster for Irish rugby. We really hate the English but now we’ve got to take a load of money off them. Next time we have a game at Leicester we won’t be able to act quite so smug and self important. We may have to be contrite and accept there are other teams who are actually quite good and capable of beating us”. Upon reflection he added “No, stuff it we’ll just ignore the facts and act the way we always do”.

Yn Expectatiol Mawr

Senior Welsh players held a crisis meeting at lunchtime today to discuss how to dampen immense public expectations ahead of this weekend’s game against New Zealand.  The talks, held under the eves of Big D’s burger van in Talbot Green, were in response to press reports commenting upon Welsh chances and referring to the team as ‘second rate carthorses’.

“We tried to laugh off the ‘carthorses’ talk, but as a group of professionals we are finding it exceptionally difficult,” commented Stephen Jones, who wished to remain anonymous.  “The pressure is immense at the best of times and it doesn’t help when you get talked up by the opposition.  On the rugby development curve, we are just where we want to be; around the ‘third-rate joke’ level.  Hell, we’d struggle to give Scotland a game at the moment.”

Jones is just one anonymous player who shares the same view.  “Graham Henry says we’ve got an edge, which is just not fair,” claimed Tom Shanklin, whose bid to remain anonymous during much of this month’s internationals were dealt a cruel blow when he bled prodigiously in front of 3,000 stadium fans and another 1,000 watching live at home.  “Like Henry’s face, we have no discernable shape whatsoever.”

Other Welsh players are bitter about news that Ladbrokes is pushing odds on Wales losing by a 30-40 points margin out from 11-3 to 4-1.  “The rugby world expects Wales to really show up on Saturday,” commented a spokesman from the bookies.  “And then not much after that.”

Wales Appoint Giving Away Stupid Mindless Penalties Coach

Wales once again are leading the rugby world by taking lessons from the world of science and appointing a Giving Away Stupid Mindless Penalties Coach. This world of science isn’t the rigourous, peer reviewed accumulation of verifiable and reliable knowledge but The World of Science, a comic book from the 1950s that predicted what the world would look like in 2010. “We still can’t seem to locate any of the monkey powered jet bikes or robot women that this historical artifact states are in existence today” stated Warren Gatland pensively (I say ‘pensively’ but it could be ‘joyfully’ it’s so hard to tell with these New Zealanders) “but we’re hoping that with the same level of unrealistic optomism and disregard of the laws of physics, this appointment of a what all the cool kids are calling GASMPC!, Wales can once again lead the way. GASMPC!!” Robert Howley added “Robert Howley thinks that giving away stupid mindless penalties is something that Wales have really made their own. New Zealand can come in from completely the wrong side of the rucks and not get pinged but Wales can do exactly the same thing and just make it look idiotic. It’s the one area we excel at so what we’ve thought is that the only way to rid this from our game is to coach it out of the players. Hell, it’s worked with nearly everything else.” Wales are also thought to be hiring a Finding New Ways to Lose Tsar and, to work with the media, a Talking All Big Before a Game Jefe.

Gatland went further to explain the rationale. “Well, it’s like this, eh? Say you’re a country with limited resources and you can’t access any more. This is the name of the system that you have to use to make sure everyone gets their fair share.”

Welsh Rugby Enters Guinnesss Bookk of Records

Yet another success story for Welsh rugby today as the national team is the first to reach 10,000 mindless stupid penalties in a season. And it’s only November.

“This is a great day for pigheadedly thinking the referee is looking in a different direction from the ball for 2 continuous minutes, which to be fair, they often do” beamed Ryan Jones. “We had thought that Jonathan Thomas’ cloak of invisibility may confuse the officials, but luckily this was countered by him wearing a smoking jacket, dark glasses and lots of bandages around his head.”

Head three-pointer was One of the Bishop brothers. True to his name, he runs diagonally into any penalty creating opportunities. “It’s a technique that is becoming a bit of a trade mark. At least it would be if it wasn’t swallowed up in the shere number of insanely dunderheaded penalties the team manages to give away. We’re currently so bad, we’re hoping to be sponsored by the IRB Reffing Panel.”

Top ref fails eye test

The rugby world was reeling this lunchtime following the shock news that Steve Walsh’s favourite international referee, Steve Walsh, failed a routine eyesight test following Wales’s narrow-ish defeat to 13 Saffas and 2 junkies on Saturday.

The whistle-happy IRB monkey was unable to read the top line of the optician’s chart during the post-match test at Vision Express on Queen Street, Cardiff.

When asked to comment, Llanelli optician (Dilwyn Cyclops) responded, “To be honest, y’know, this is tremendous. Ever since Colin Hawke ruined our chances against the Wallabies in 1999, we’ve been dying to catch one of the blind bastards. Innit.”