Current UK energy policy is going to go through a radical change, government forces have confirmed. Following England’s recent defeat to Wales, it was decided that the national grid is to harness the power of Neil Warnock’s post-match moaning. “I can’t believe that Wales got so many penalties. To have 2 of them awarded to them so far away from the English goal-line in the dying minutes of the game was a travesty. I’m absolutely livid.” harped on the QPR manager. “And the ref stopped the match 10 minutes early. I mean who pays these guys wages. I hope it’s not the FA!!!!” he continued.
A government spokesman has said that if their predictions are correct, Warnock generated power could mean the UK reaches it’s Kyoto Agreement targets 5 years early. “If we extrapolate this out until 2050, we should be able to start exporting power to the sun.” she concluded.
The dawn of the age of the Orc has been postponed indefinitely as it emerged that if you just stand in front of them and pull them to the floor all day then they don’t really have that much more to offer. Orc forces arrived in Cardiff on Saturday including scrum-mammoths, line-out trolls, siege-ram mutants and wide-out nazgul wing-beasts. The strategy was to find hobbits and run at them really hard on the strict understanding from the Generals that the hobbits would grow weary of this and eventually step aside, enabling crushing victory and celebratory drinking from captive skulls. Curiously, when Orctactic met with determined heroic hobbit defence, the thinking from the Orcmaster General seemed to conclude that the running head-down at the enemy was only failing because there wasn’t enough of it. And so it went on. And a bit more, increasingly coupled with dropping the ball and allowing it to be stolen.
The Orcmaster General seemed to suggest that Orctactic didn’t work for unspecified reasons but would work on all other days for another set of unspecified reasons, giving hope to many people around the world that despite the retirement of George Bush Jnr, the chances of future moments of blundering unintentional comedy were looking strong. He also seemed to suggest that the sado-masochistic torture bridles worn by two of his scrum-mammoths that forced them to veer off sideways instead of forwards somehow warranted penalty tries and yellow cards because the good-guys didn’t have anywhere to put their heads. Everyone invited him to stand in a dark corner and think about it.
Meanwhile, hobbits were clearly delighted despite not being entirely sure how the hell that happened exactly. What was certain though was that they are in the kind of shape that mountains are made of, if said mountains could also run a marathon backwards whilst carrying another mountain, they also care to the extent that all the ale and cowgirls in Cardiff couldn’t tempt them out on the lash, and that committed traffic calming measures are sufficient to persuade Orcball to erupt at high velocity from its own rectum.
With only a few weeks to go before the start of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, many rugby fans will be heading off on their holidays in nervous anticipation, hoping that their team will do well in the warm-up matches and will emerge from the strange summer schedule with no serious injuries.
It’s always important to pack a good book to take on your holidays, but even if you’re not jetting off to somewhere sunny, you should grab something interesting to read. If rugby is your thing (which we assume it is, if you’re reading this) then get yourself a copy of Gwyn Prescott’s account of the social, cultural and economic impact of rugby football on the people of South Wales.
“This Rugby Spellbound People” is a detailed and fascinating study of the way in which rugby embedded itself in the fabric of Cardiff society and the villages and towns in South Wales, transforming itself from a fringe activity confined to the middle classes, to the mass-participation sport it became in the twentieth century.
Speaking about the book, Gwyn Prescott (who played alongside Gareth Edwards for Wales as a schoolboy international in 1965) commented,
“In December 1905, The Irish Times despatched a reporter to cover the All Blacks game in Cardiff. Only a little over thirty years earlier, apart from a few young middle-class blades who took exercise by occasionally playing with an oval ball, the game of rugby was barely known in the town. Yet following the historic Welsh victory over New Zealand, that Irish journalist memorably described the excited, good humoured and wildly enthusiastic crowds he witnessed that day in and around the Arms Park as “this rugby spellbound people.” He went on to declare that the Welsh were “undoubtedly the best exponents of the game.”
Wales is certainly a country which punches above its weight when it comes to international rugby, and we all hope this will manifest itself in a victory against England next Saturday, and a successful World Cup campaign in September and October. The fervour with which Welsh rugby supporters back their team means that failure is all the more painful to bear. The higher the build-up, the harder the fall. Gwyn Prescott’s book explains the provenance of this fervour, and will act as a primer to whet the appetite of rugby aficionados all over the world as they wait in excited anticipation for the kick off of the Rugby World Cup.
Thankfully even those of us who survived the 90s have only witnessed a few games where we’ve quietly confided in friends that by the 60 minute mark we’re not entirely sure we can be bothered watching the rest of it, and leaking further tries results in gazing up from the paper and tutting in mild irritation. August 4th 2007 was one of those days.
With the 2007 world cup just round the corner, what would have been really nice was some sort of morale boosting solid performance; show some parity where it counts and maybe put together some moments where we could all look at each other and go “hmmm, the boys have clearly practiced that one”.
Instead, Gareth Jenkins took the Welsh 3rd XV to Twickenham to face pretty much England’s first choice line-up. The first choice Welsh side wasn’t exactly firing with confidence, and their replacements were not exactly kicking down the door demanding to be instated. So mustering the thirds, introducing them to each other the day before and sending them out into an amphitheatre sporting loincloths and penknives against professional gladiators replete with industrial scythes and AK47s, could only be kept in the archives in a box marked ‘Really Bad Idea’.
It was perhaps best summed up by everyone who watched it with the pertinent question “What was the point in that then?” The only conceivable answer to this question that stood up to any scrutiny being “A pay-day and confidence-boosting training session for the RFU”.
4 tries for Nick Easter is a heinous crime. Subbing him for Dallaglio who then scores a try is like finding your house has been burgled and the gits have shat on the lounge carpet for good measure. And then poor Tom James gets called off the bench for his first cap – and his only chance to stake a claim for a world cup spot – with 50-5 on the scoreboard and 78 minutes on the clock. Thanks for that.
This sorry episode should be removed from human memory by whatever means necessary. Alternatively, a win of any sort for Wales on Saturday will go a long way to allowing the ghosts of the little bits of us that died that day to cross over to a better place and be at rest.