Grand Slam DVD competition: the answers

We’ll be announcing the winner of the Grand Slam DVD later today. Meanwhile, here are the answers to the questions:

1. What was Robert Howley the last to do in 1999, that David Young was the first to do in 2000?

Answer: Howley was the last Welsh captain in the Five Nations, and David Young was the first Wales captain in the Six Nations

2. As a youth, Martin Castrogiovanni was a promising basketball player. But why did his basketball career come to an end?

Answer: he punched the referee

3. The winning country’s emblem is placed as a handle on the lid of the Six Nations trophy. Where are the other countries’ emblems kept?

Answer: in a drawer in the plinth of the trophy

How the IRB World Rankings Work

People often wonder how the IRB world rankings work, well, it’s fairly simple. I was fortunate enough to once witness an IRB world rankings meeting take place, and this is exactly what happened:


1. First, the IRB inner sanctum (herein known as the Council of the Inner Sanctum) all gather in a great hall. They all dress in black, with a sort of silver fern thing on the front of their clothes.

2. Next, they start doing a funny dance which involves them pulling silly faces and slapping themselves.

3. The funny dance summons the spirit of Austin The Rude, who rises from a pit of fire, and has a ginormous forehead

4. The Council of the Inner Sanctum then make sacrifices to Austin The Rude, in the form of insults which are no more than 140 characters long.

5. They all have a 5 minute break

6. Austin The Rude logs on to twitter and randomly dishes out the insults to Welsh rugby supporters.

7. For every angry response Austin The Rude receives, England are rewarded 10 points, and Wales have 10 points deducted.

8. England and Ireland are also awarded 10 extra bonus points if Wales do better than them in any competition

9. If Wales beat any team more than 2 times consecutively, that team is automatically promoted above Wales in the IRB world rankings.

10. Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are each awarded 100 points, regardless.


And that’s it really. The process for selecting the World cup pools is equally simple:

1. Wales are placed in a pool with the World Champions and any team with a successful record against Wales in the World Cup

2. England are drawn in a pool with Papua New Guinea, The Vatican, The Nags Head Sunday XV and Scotland

3. The remaining pools are drawn randomly.

Optimism Gnome gagged and bound and stowed away in the airing cupboard

He’s at it again. The three foot high over-exhuberant maniac has turned up for Grandslam week far too early and is plaguing the households of Welsh people everywhere with talk of easy wins and pre-ordering victory T-shirts and DVDs. Do stop it, there’s a lovely butty bach.

He’s pointing at all sorts of evidence for his manic chipperness; France want the roof open, Fofana’s been hidden on the wing, Sam’s back, the letters spelling “Cymru” in scrabble are worth “12” points – but the empty bottle of penderyn and four-pack of red bull are more likely to be the fuel for the little fella’s fit of frenzy. But when he caps it off trying to look up your missus’ skirt and starts hosing away in the kitchen sink singing ‘hymns and arias’ then it’s time to stow him away in the airing cupboard and gag him. Leave him in there with a warm flannel and a copy of Razzle and he should burn himself out soon enough.

Some say at full moon he wears a deer’s skull and rides a chariot along the Heads of the Valleys road pulled by George North and Alex Cuthbert, some say he turned down a role in the new Hobbit film over a philosophical protest at large corporate media killing innovation in the arts, some say his erogenous zones cover most of South Wales. All we know is that sometimes before a match you want to stick his head in a food blender, but at the end of the day, he’s only trying to help. He loves us, and sometimes we love him back.

Here’s to optimism, the amazing prospect of 3 grandslams in 8 years and the 22 boys trying to get us there. C’mon Wales!

Severn Bridge Troll given stop and search powers for Welsh Players heading for France

The Severn Bridge Troll – looking a bit like Garin Jenkins in the right light – has been given additional emergency powers to search vehicles heading back to France this weekend to root out Welsh players looking to sneak out to take the filthy Euro.
Roger Lewis met Troll earlier in the week to go through the new measures, which for the first time include the right to hoist vehicles in the air and shake people out, ripping the tops off coaches to peer inside and a general right to intimidate and confiscate shiny things that might look nice in his cave near Sudbrook.

Lewis has taken the dramatic action following the trickle of established Welsh stars to the Med and hopes the prospect of having their legs eaten by Troll will prevent others turning the trickle into a flood. The WRU supremo sees this weekend’s travelling French support as presenting a dangerous opportunity for players to stowaway in car boots and coach luggage holds. He’s asked Troll to look out for players disguised as accordion players and cockerels, providing the giant bridge bouncer with sample onions, garlic and cheap gauloises to get the tell-tale scent of French-bound traffic.

Troll would like to reassure non-Welsh qualified players and all who are simply no good at rugby that they have nothing to fear as they attempt to leave the Promised Land via the M4. He hopes everyone has a top weekend and the French leave for home, tired, sad and very light on prime Welsh rugby talent.

The Gwladrugby Songbook

One of the things us Welsh are famous for is our love of a good sing-song. One thing you can count on, in victory or defeat, is a pissed-up Welsh person belting out Calon Lan or stumbling over the words to Oes Gafr Eto.

With the help of contributors to the Gwlad chat forum, our very own Capten Synhwyrol has lovingly maintained this songbook to help you remember the words to your favourite hymns and songs. Maybe it’ll encourage you to expand your repertoire, or even join in with the Marseillaise.

So click, download, print out (environmental conditions apply), sing and enjoy.

The Gwladrugby songbook is a 1Mb PDF format file – you will need Adobe Reader or similar to read it.

Gwladrugby Songbook

Grand Slam DVD competition

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been running a competition to win a special 30th anniversary, digitally-remastered DVD of the classic Welsh rugby comedy film, “Grand Slam,” starring Windsor Davies and Dewi Morris.

For a chance to win, you need to answer 3 rugby trivia questions. You also need to be following @gwladrugby on Twitter, and entries will only be accepted via email.

Let’s recap the first two questions:

1. What was Robert Howley the last to do in 1999, that David Young was the first to do in 2000?

2. As a youth, Martin Castrogiovanni was a promising basketball player. But why did his basketball career come to an end?

And now the third and final question:

3. The winning country’s emblem is placed as a handle on the lid of the Six Nations trophy. Where are the other countries’ emblems kept?

Now for the important bit. To enter you need to EMAIL your answers to by 12pm on Saturday 17th March 2012. You also need to be following @gwladrugby on Twitter, so please include your Twitter username in the email, otherwise your entry won’t count.

The winner will be chosen at random, to be announced on Monday 19th March.

Pob lwc!