Saturday, September 29, 2007

Don't Cry For Them

Damn those happy-go-lucky Argentines. They need taking down a peg or two.
"Aren't they wonderful, the team spirit, the way they've dragged themselves into the elite in spite of the hindrances of world rugby's powers-that-be?"

Pah. Not in the mood. Feck them. Let's take them apart.

Never mind the complete, utter illogicality of Ireland getting four tries and winning by more than seven tomorrow. Never mind the fact that any neutral looking on would surely root for the Pumas, whose courage in prising the win on the opening night from France and professionalism in securing all available points since makes them the team of the tournament so far.

Screw the fact that the sort of effort it would require of Ireland to beat Argentina while racking up the requisite stats would appear to require a performance completely outwith even the most bizarre graph of form imaginable.

To hell with the notion that two of the areas in which Ireland have struggled so far - recycling quick possession and breaking down crowded blitz defences - would appear to be Argentina's strongest suits.

Cry "poppycock!" at those who point at the purpose, cameraderie and leadership that the Pumas enjoy, in comparison with the seemingly lost souls in the Ireland squad.

A couple of World Cup wins in soccer aside, Argentina is no more comfortable with success than we are. The country's history is sad and violent; they dance the dark and passionate tango, not the get-yer-ya-yas-out samba.

So let's hope tomorrow will be a bad day for Argentina. A national catastrophe. Ireland v Argentina in the 2007 Rugby World Cup needs to go down with the economic crisis of the late 1990s, the death of Eva Peron, Maradona's drug bust, Rattin's sending off against the English and the birth of Chris de Burgh as black events in the Argentine annals.

(Good taste precludes the inclusion of the sinking of the Belgrano in that list. But perhaps The Irish Sun could have the headline "Gotcha" on standby?)

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