March 1, 2012
When I’ve googled a couple of times today I’ve ended up on the New Zealand page on which it’s business as usual.
But if you go to google.co.uk you find the Google doodle depicts a dragon in a field of daffodils in honour of St David’s Day and Wales whose patron saint he is.
or Dewi Sant, as he is known in the Welsh language, . . . was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop, who lived in the sixth century. During his life, he was the archbishop of Wales, and he was one of many early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of western Britain. . . Dewi was a very gentle person who lived a frugal life. It is claimed that he ate mostly bread and herbs – probably watercress, which was widely used at the time. Despite this supposedly meagre diet, it is reported that he was tall and physically strong. . . Dewi is sometimes known, in Welsh, as ‘Dewi Ddyfrwr’ (David the Water Drinker) and, indeed, water was an important part of his life – he is said to have drunk nothing else. Sometimes, as a self-imposed penance, he would stand up to his neck in a lake of cold water, reciting Scripture. . .
October 22, 2011
Australia claimed the bronze with a 20-18 win over Wales in this Rugby World Cup’s second last match last night.
I’m pleased the Southern Hemisphere team won and I’ll be even happier if the south beats the north tomorrow.
Twenty teams started the tournament six weeks ago, now there are just two left, the All Blacks and Les Bleus, who will play in the final.
On paper the All Blacks are the stronger team but the French are unpredictable.
They’ve beaten us before and could do it again so I’m pleased to read that Rich McCaw and his team understand there are no guarantees for the All Blacks.
While the All Blacks captain knows exactly what rugby’s greatest prize looks like, he has never laid a hand on it.
“I don’t think you should touch it until you’ve earned it,” he said.
On the eve of the big match against France, that may well change for the 30-year-old.
For McCaw, however, Sunday night’s clash at Eden Park is all about the men who wear the All Blacks jersey with him.
“It’s not about personal stuff,” he said. “It’s about this team having an opportunity and not wasting it. Going out and performing, playing the best game we’ve ever played in a World Cup final. That’s the opportunity that’s there and from our point of view we don’t want to let that slip by.”
They’ve got preparation and determination, we’ve all got optimism and hope but there will be no certainty until the final whistle blows.
October 21, 2011
Australia or Wales? Dragons or Wallabies?
They meet tonight to decide third and fourth place in the Rugby World Cup and it’s not easy to decide which team to support.
Both teams have New Zealand coaches but if I take them into account I’d opt for Robbie Deans who made such a wonderful contribution to Canterbury rugby – even if several of their wins were against Otago teams.
I know Wales deserved to win last week, and maybe the All Blacks would have a less daunting task on Sunday if they had, but if I have to pick a side, it will be the Wallabies.
It’s not personal, the Welsh are lovely people but most of them are on the other side of the world and Australia’s just next door so I’m opting for our neighbours.
October 9, 2011
If Argentina was playing any other team than the All Blacks I’d be backing Los Pumas.
Since they are playing New Zealand I’m saying vamos Argentina pero no demasiado bien – play well Argentina, but not too well.
I’m conflicted with the other quarter-final game.
I want the winner to be whichever team the All Blacks are most likely to defeat should we get through to the next round and I’d like that to be Australia. But my farmer who knows far more about rugby than I do and who was in Brisbane to for the last Tri-Nations game when the Wallabies beat the All Blacks, reckons South Africa might be an easier semi-final opponent.
We were at a 21st birthday party last night but what from what I saw of the two games, Wales deserved its 22-10 victory over Ireland and the French earned their semi-fianl spot by beating England 19 -12.
October 8, 2011
I was a day ahead of myself with yesterday’s post about the first two Rugby World Cup quarter-final games between Ireland and Wales and England and France.
Twenty four hours hasn’t helped me decide who to back so I’ll bow to Inventory 2 who knows much more than I do about rugby.
He’s picking wins by the Irish and French.
He’s also picking Wanganui to beat East Coast in the Meads Cup.
September 19, 2011
When I wrote yesterday’s post on the Rugby World Cup I said I was going to back England.
But when I got to Otago Stadium last evening I had a change of heart and swapped my allegiance to Georgia.
The team played really well and I think the 41-10 score flattered the English. They deserved to win but not by that margin.
Georgia spent a lot of time in England’s half and though they weren’t able to turn territory into points they kept up the pressure until the final whistle.
They didn’t win the game but they did win hearts, including mine.
It’s good for the tournament and for rugby that the minnows are giving the bigger fish more than a run for their money.
Canada started well and scoring 19 points to France’s 46 would have given Les Bleus cause for concern.
I didn’t see or hear the game between Wales and Samoa but reports suggest the 17-10 victory to the Welsh didn’t come easily.
Our decision to go to the game in Dunedin last evening was a last minute won but booking online secured us seats in the front row at half way which gave us a very good view.
Among the people sitting near us were several Argentineans. They are following the Pumas all around New Zealand and attending other random games which fit their travels.
My Spanish is a bit rusty but the gist of what one of them told me was that he had travelled all over the world but never thought of coming to New Zealand before. However, he and his travelling companions were having a wonderful time, the country is beautiful, the people friendly and they’re enjoying the food and wine.
That is exactly the sort of off-field benefits to New Zealand the organisers are hoping for.