Sunday, 20 March 2016

Ireland 35 v Scotland 25

A break from the grind of relegation, but another double-loss Saturday for me. Still, I rarely leave a rugby game in a bad mood, certainly nothing like some Charlton defeats. A good weekend in Dublin with my Celtic-supporting Uncle and my good wife who enjoys the rugby as much as me.

After a long evening in McDaid's and O'Neill's on Friday we spent a large part of Saturday in my favourite Dublin pub, Doheny & Nesbitt's, comfort eating and quaffing gallons of Guinness. We did leave for the match and once again we were in the top tier of the Bath Road stand. An impressive view to watch a feisty encounter which Scotland were always going to lose once it was clear Ireland's pack had the tactical nouse to limit scrummaging against Scotland and instead, aided by better place-kicking and repeated use of the driving maul, they were able to pin Scotland back and snipe around the sides.

We did have the pleasure of watching the amazing Stuart Hogg do what he does best when can see holes in the opposition defence. He has blistering pace and at only 23 can become one of the greats of world rugby. The Sunday Times described Hogg's try brilliantly, saying that he surveyed the oncoming green line and spotted Rory Best, the hooker, looking like a "Wilderbeest out of his natural habitat" and Hogg hit the afterburners to roar past him to score. Ireland increased their lead as poor discipline saw Scotland reduced to 14 men twice, but Scotland did rally posession wise in the second -half, otherwise it could have been a lot worse.

My wife had earlier informed me of our latest 3-0 reverse which came as no surprise. I hear we played ok for an hour but when you don't create a shot on target in the whole game, what do you expect? Riga's player selection is puzzling and his tactics questionable. I am left wondering whether Reza was played up front yesterday in a vain attempt to make him more saleable. Why else would you leave Lookman and Vetokele on the bench? Even Makienok for heaven's sake.

Even the eternal optimists must realise that we are going down because we haven't been good enough all season. Cut adrift with basket-case Bolton we should soon be out of our misery. Then we will see our third successive clearout ahead of late Summer recruitment of another squad of hopefuls and hopelesses as we prepare to be competitive in League One, no doubt with ambitions for the Championship. Will Jose Riga still be hear to see it, or will Roland manage to find another Flemish-speaker he hasn't tried previously?

Whatever happens it's crystal clear we aren't building a better future together.


NZaddick said...

Hi = unrelated to the most recent post but I saw an excellent Derek hales/che guevara tattoo on the site a while ago an wondered where it was done.
sorry for the random comment but unsure how to personal message


Dave said...

NZaddick - the tattooist was Graham of Master Tattooers, 281 The Broadway. 0208 303 5027. He's a Charlton diehard and current club sponsor....

Dave said...

M+NZaddick -