Congratulations Ireland

by Chris Bertram on March 21, 2009

Congratulations to Ireland on the “first Irish grand slam”: in the 6 nations since 1948. I’d buy Henry, Maria and Kieran a drink if they were within drink-buying range. A very dramatic last minute of the final match, too: it could have gone either way.



P O'Neill 03.21.09 at 7:49 pm

The greatest half-time talk in the history of rugby?


Ellie 03.21.09 at 8:21 pm

Without doubt the most stressful second half I have ever endured in my life.

I wouldn’t like to be in Stephen Jones’ boots right now.


Philip 03.21.09 at 8:29 pm

Congratulations to Ireland that team definitely deserved to win a grand slam. But just to be a pedant it’s their first grand slam in the six nations ever as Italy only joined a few years back.


Henry 03.21.09 at 9:05 pm

Of course the only reason they won was because I wasn’t able to watch it;)


Tom Hurka 03.21.09 at 9:17 pm

Watched and enjoyed — was pulling for Ireland.


dsquared 03.22.09 at 12:08 am

extraordinary game. My heart was with Wales but my money had been on Ireland, so I was in the unusual position of being perfectly hedged.


Paul 03.22.09 at 1:11 am

Erin go bragh !!


astrongmaybe 03.22.09 at 4:45 am

Ditto to all! Great result.

I listened to the RTE radio commentary and some of the conventionalized metaphors made it wonderful, but half-incomprehensible. There was an earnest discussion at half-time about whether “Wales [were] one of those teams who would drag you out to sea and then drown you” or not. The consensus seemed to be that on the whole they were not, and I suppose it must have been confirmed by events.


Mrs Tilton 03.22.09 at 4:50 pm

asm @89,

an earnest discussion at half-time about whether “Wales [were] one of those teams who would drag you out to sea and then drown you” or not

You clearly missed the news reports of the terrible post-match atrocity, in which Wales did in fact drag Ireland out to sea and drown them. Horrendous news, but I for one am glad at least that this sterling Irish side knew the joy of a grand slam victory before their hideous and untimely end.

They’ll still beat England next year, mind.

Watched the match in a half-decent Oirish pub in the otherwise horrifying Düsseldorf Altstadt. I think the intermittent roars did actual structural damage to the walls. In the silence before Jones’s final kick I could hear the timbers creaking. Then he missed, the crowd erupted and the ceiling collapsed. Cheering, laughing, singing and shouts for another round. Big bearded young fellow in front of me in the Ireland away strip — looked like he plays at loosehead, or possibly loose and tighthead simultaneously — was weeping openly with no shame at all. Best of all, the German friends we’d taken along to watch, who’d never seen a match before and were intensely sceptical before kickoff, were captivated by full time.


otto 03.22.09 at 6:26 pm

It’s always good to be reminded that Crooked Timber is really Wild Geese and Friends.


astrongmaybe 03.22.09 at 6:47 pm

I wonder if the fact that Wales fielded SIX players called Jones in their starting XV had any impact either way.


Davis X. Machina 03.22.09 at 11:36 pm

Not the same impact as having a manager named Declan Kidney, apparently.


Thom Brooks 03.23.09 at 10:03 am

I was thrilled!


Maria 03.23.09 at 2:26 pm

Thanks, Chris! I’ve had 3 blow by blow accounts already of the 2nd half but I still reckon it will be a thrill when I finally purloin a copy of it to watch.


Leeds man 03.23.09 at 3:51 pm

Hmph. Obviously, the standings should be decided by points difference rather than the outdated “win-draw-lose” nonsense.


Brownie 03.23.09 at 11:51 pm

Congratulations and all that, but what this Six Nations clearly demonstrated is that the skills gap between the northern and southern hemispheres is as wide as it has been for a good long while.


roac 03.24.09 at 5:45 pm

Perhaps someone would like to answer two questions I have: (1) why are there (at least) two brands of rugby? (2) which one is this? Thank you.


ajay 03.24.09 at 6:30 pm

2) this is rugby union, which is the more widespread version and is often referred to as just “rugby”; the Six Nations and the Rugby World Cup are both rugby union.
1) because rugby used to be an amateur-only sport until very recently, and this was a bit rough on working-class teams because their players were too poor to be amateurs, so a lot of mainly northern, mainly working-class clubs seceded and set up the rugby league in the late 19th century. The rules have since diverged.


toby 03.26.09 at 10:36 am

God, take me now that I have seen it!!!!

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