Monday, September 18, 2023

The 7 Constructive Faces (of Gareth the Karmic Rugby Gnome)

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision, referee.

Canedo (Icons passim) turned out to be an inspired choice of venue on Saturday for Welsh and Welsh-connected Collywooders, even if like Shona's Chris they live in Adelaide, to watch the Wales Portugal Pool C World Cup rugby game. Thanks to hosts Alberto and Marietta, and to their largely Portuguese clientele for good-hearted banter. Both you and your team are credits to your nation.
Portugal are nicknamed ‘Os Lobos’, or The Wolves, and while Wales kept them from the door in Nice, Patrice Lagisquet’s team delivered a joyous display that captured the intoxicating potential of underdogs at World Cups.
There were three venues at Jonnie H's birthday BBQ yesterday; the garden for the barbecue itself, the kitchen/dining room for the footie (Chelsea then Arsenal), and the front room for the rugby.

I was in the latter to see  Fiji produced the result of the World Cup so far, beating Australia to put the cat amongst the pigeons in Wales' group.

Having secured 10 points from a possible 10, Wales are sitting pretty at the top of the table; our fate totally in our hands. But Australia v Fiji was always going to affect what Wales could get away with in their remaining fixtures, against the Aussies and Georgia.

For all that we revelled in a Fijian victory, an Australian win over Fiji would, in a way, have made things more straightforward. Had Fiji lost in Saint-Etienne, then Wales would have known that a victory over Georgia would have been enough for a quarter-final place, taking some of the pressure off next Sunday's clash with the Wallabies.

As it turns out, there is still a three-way shootout unfolding at the top of Pool C,  Wales need something against Australia and Georgia in their final two games. Currently, we sit top of the pool with 10 points and the other two trailing on six. Because Fiji won yesterday, they sit in second place with the Aussies third.

Now, if Wales beat Australia next week, the Wallabies will be out, and we will be in the quarter finals, but if Warren Gatland's side to lose to the Wallabies in Lyon, then we could have a situation where each of the top three teams - Wales, Fiji and Australia - will be heading into the final round of matches having lost one match each, making things very interesting.

Interesting is not good. I will be in Cardiff at the weekend visiting mum. With any luck I will get to watch the game with a sibling or two.

No comments: