Monday, February 07, 2005

The other oval ball tournament

Even as the US is going gaga this weekend over the Super Bowl (New England won 24 to 21), the world's oldest national sports tournament (since 1910), the Six Nations Rugby Tournament, got underway with a few surprises. For the un-initiated, the nations involved are England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France and Italy. For the last couple of years, the French and the English have dominated with a strong showing by Ireland. Scotland, Wales and Italy have been in the "also ran" category, lucky enough to win a game. This weekend, Scotland travelled to Paris and lost 16 - 9 and Italy lost to Ireland in Rome, 28 to 17, but the big upset was England losing to Wales, 11 - 9 in Cardiff. This was the first win over the English for Wales in 12 years, so there was probably lots of drunken celebrating going on after the game.

Next week, Wales travels to Rome to face Italy, Ireland travels to Scotland and the French have to travel to Twickenham Stadium in London to face the English. Normally, the France-England game would decide who won the Six Nations Cup, but this year, both the English and the French have to travel to Ireland. If the Irish beat the Scots at Glasgow, and the English beat the French, this could be the year for the Irish to hoist the cup, which they haven't done since 1985. I guess buying that Irish Rugby jersey on sale when I was at Gatwick Airport in November was not just me looking for a cheap souvenir. So, instead of cheering Allez France! or Forza Italia!, maybe I should start cheering GO IRELAND!


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