Almost a Grand Slam!

I was simply going to put the following statistics here –

Wales 0 – 9 Australia

Wales 0 – 18 Southern Hemisphere

But the noises coming out of the Valleys makes it important to underline that the above record for Wales in successive games against the ‘Big 3’ can’t all be down to referees having a bad day!

To be fair a number of the matches have been very close and often they have lost by the odd couple of points. But if they want to be taken as serious contenders for 2015 then they have to start getting over the finishing line with more points than the other team.

The claims that “the ref should not have awarded Tomane’s try”, “It isn’t a setback”,  “If Australia had played like that against England” and “now we just want to concentrate on defending our 6 Nations title” feed back into the saying that “you never beat the Welsh, you only score more points!”

I haven’t heard a Welsh accent mentioning the several opportunities that Australia butchered when it looked easier to score than to miss!

Of course, being English I am biased, I acknowledge (admittedly through gritted teeth) that Wales are currently the best NH team – and that we are some way back in terms of being ready for the rapidly approaching World Cup – but they have the arrogance to call us arrogant!

I don’t know what the Welsh is for ‘black’ and ‘kettle’ but now would be a good time to get a translation and use it!

As for the match – well, the Wallabies completed a pretty successful tour up here on Saturday with a good win over Wales – but for the reverse in the first game against England they would indeed have completed a grand slam – but then if I’d picked the right numbers in the lottery on Saturday night “we’d be millionaires!”

The fact is that Ewen McKenzie is starting to get his players looking like a team that can worry anyone – the All Blacks and Springboks won’t exactly be losing sleep yet but they can’t have failed to notice how Quade Cooper and Israel Folau have galvanised Wallaby back play and returned it to the exciting levels we have come to expect from Australia.

As for Saturday night – I don’t fully subscribe to Vince Lombardi’s famous quote of “Show me a good loser – and I’ll show you a loser!”

Even in the heat of professional international sport I believe that rugby should demonstrate that it is possible to lose with dignity and to accept that the better team won.

An old fashioned view? –  maybe – but then I have high traditional expectations for the best game on the planet.

 

 

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