Gethin Jenkins’ Try Visible From Moon.

It’ll be a famous first that will be testing schoolboys (but not girls) for years to come: which international try was the first to be visible from the surface of the moon? Today, Gethin ‘They Call Me Mr Jenkins’ Jenkins 110m run for the line (that many are christening ‘The Try Heard Around the World’) finally made it into the record books.

“I know not many people have heard of Namibia,” stated Gethin modestly, “I for one thought that it might be made up, like Tonga. Or perhaps it’s an insurance firm, like Swift Lombard Churchill Ltd.Com. But today was a great feeling. When I sidestepped those last ten men and blew up that tank with my laser eyes, I just knew I was part of something bigger than myself.” Schoolmasters throughout the land were united in their acclaim for Gethin. One such man, an English teacher from Barnstaple gushed “What the hell are you asking me for? I don’t know the first thing about rugby and am in the middle of a poetry class. Who let you in?? Come back! I say, COME BACK!”

Experts are already putting details of THE try down as one of the most important, fundamental pieces of trivia the world has ever known. Prof Brian Cox, the Electro-pop genius stated “Knowing Gethin scored this try will be as important as knowing who won the Spanish Inquisition or that Al Capone died of Tax Evasion. They’ll be talking about it for trillions of trillions of trillions of loads of trillions of Parsecs.”

Alain Rolland’s French Actually Not That Good.

In a revelation that has SLAMMED international rugby to the core, it’s been claimed that Alain Rolland’s knowledge of the French language isn’t all that. Tom Phillips, who studied French until he didn’t pick it as an option in Form 4, is not impressed by the Irishman’s ‘so-called’ abilities. “He’s not once asked directions for either the library, or whatever a Gar is!” claimed some-time brick-layer Phillips. “I bet he doesn’t even know what ‘piscine’ means. I do. And I haven’t spoken French since I watched that educational relationship video of ‘Les Hommes Grandes sont arrivete VII’ added Phillips.

Paddy O’Brien, chief rugby ref supremo failed to respond to our phone calls. We did, however get through to the New Zealandish Speaking Clock (+New Zealand 001) and they went on record to say that it was “22 hours and 32 minutes precisely eh”?

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Scorers Hooky, Ickle and Priestland, with gamebreaker Shove: Put the whole nasty nightmare to bed.

If a twinkie bar was to represent the normal psychokinetic energy in the Waikato area, then at around 4.30am BST on Sunday morning, the PKE reading could only be illustrated by a twinkie the size of 22 massive polynesians fed on a diet of fish and missionaries. It was all set to not be pretty, and the effects were being felt half way round the globe where readings were off the chart and of a kind not seen since the extraphenomenical paranormal episodes of 1991 and 1999.

Thank Christ, therefore, that the Ectomobile turned up at the event horizon with 22 registered ghostbusters packing proton mass drivers and a real snarling attitude to putting up with this kind of blatant contravention of inter-dimensional roaming laws. Witnesses describe an 80 minute event of unprecedented ferocity with neither side prepared to have any regard for city byelaws and anyone’s health and safety. Once the smoke cleared to reveal catastrophic damage, not least from Priestland’s out-on-the-full ion beams, it emerged that the repeat cross-over attempt had failed and that somehow, through immense guts and determination, the threat had been wonderfully contained in smouldering traps with benignly blinking lights on their valence indicators.

Thus was an entire nation released from its nightmares and the threat of further hauntings gone for a generation. Victims of past events queued up beside civilians to pay tribute to the heroics of the class of 2011, who today emerge to a bright sunny world of fluttering butterflies, cute bunnies, soothing birdsong and a solid eight hours of sleep.

Scott Gibbs, Neil Jenkins & Ieuan Evans: Fallen Jedis who may now find peace, and more cheeseburgers.

Optimism Gnome ‘delivers the milk’

Up and down the country for the next month there will be a dawn chorus of sleepy Welsh voices saying ”Oi love, wherebyto is that little fella delivering the milk at 4 in the morning, whistling Bread of Heaven? Whenbyhow is your nightie on the front gate? And whatbywhere has the cat got a limp and hiding under the sofa?”

It’s Rugby World Cup time: yes it’s ridiculously early in the morning, yes it’s ITV, and no, watching the highlights is not an effective substitute for getting up at dawn’s crack and doing a job for ewer country.

Optimism Gnome has been waiting a long time for this. Since the dark days in Nantes when his own countrymen beat him into a pasty pulp after the Fiji game, he has been preparing. He was there in the dark days in Poland, creeping around the barracks at night whispering in the ears of the boys “you do not need an ale: ale bad”. He was there in a crevasse in Alaska with Richard Parks saying “believe Richard. Believe”. He was in bed with Dai Greene in Daegu singing Van Halen’s ‘Jump’. He was not there at Wembley when Robert Earnshaw was ballooning a sitter into Heathrow’s flight path, and for that he is truly sorry – he was instead in New Zealand biting the hell out of Bakkies Botha’s achilles.

But now he’s back in Wales, and for the next month his mission is to visit every home in the land on match day, driving his little milk float, delivering your wakey milky to your doorstep and with his enchanting whistle, summoning everyone to the battle-front in pubs and living rooms throughout the land for anthems and bacon rolls and swearing, and if you really must, a pint. Optimism Gnome will also send your wife back to bed for a recovery snooze and make sure the cat stays out of your way. He loves you, and only wants to help.

Some say his toadstool house at night looks like Toby Faletau’s head. Some say he’s Shane Williams’ dad – or at least the bloke who told Mary she was being blessed with a child. Some say his weekend in Tenby with Shirley Bassey in 1967 is the reason there’s a Kylie Minogue. Some say his ‘special additive’ to your milk would breach at least a dozen areas of the Food Safety Act (1990). All we know is, when the whistles blow for the Welsh to leave the trenches and charge like rabid loons in service of their country, he provides the ready-brek glow of invincibility that makes it all seem like a really good idea.  However, he takes no responsibility for the incredible hulk come-down when you wake up in a hedge in only your pants with hazy recollections of sing-songs, cider and a girl from Bridgend who looked like Graham Price – then you’re on your own.

Optimism Gnome is up bright and early, there’s a red dragon being hoisted up a flag-pole and a big noisy trumpet blowing off like a Magners fart. There’s a job to be done here; there’s brothers out in foreign lands behind enemy lines needing some back up, and you’re it. Yes, you.

Saddle-up, Hoss.


Opty-Gnome uses and recommends Salbutomol Inhalers for panic attacks and episodes of excitement-induced hyperventilation. £7.40 on prescription or £29.99 +p&p from the WRU website for one with ‘breathe like a dragon’ written on it in marker pen.

Welsh Team World Cup Build-Up In Turmoil

Wales plans for the Rugby World Cup have been rocked before they’ve even started due to a radical training regime. Sources close to a camp have placed the blame on the decision by the management team to use a Venn Diagram during a team talk. “I’m a tall doctor, but even I haven’t got a clue what they were on about.” complained one of the squad’s centres who preferred to remain anonymous. “The props thought it was a picture of a scrum. Some of the team mistook it for a local television channel until they realised that the picture quality was far in advance of anything they’d seen on New Zealand Telly One.” One squad member complained of intense head pain at the concepts that the picture tried to convey “Mongo no like crazy circles!” he stated.