Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Real Cup Final

So, it was down to the Mother Ship to see the second meaningful cup final of the weekend, after yesterday's European Challenge Cup final. It wasn't quite the game yesterday's was, but pretty intense nonetheless. I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to pick a side to support, with what would normally be a slight inclination towards Wasps balanced out by the possibility of the Tiggers making a bit of history. In the end the better team definitely won, and I was definitely pleased with the outcome, having become increasing partisan as the game went on.

Firstly it was great to see Dayglo leading from the front, perhaps not back to his best but an impressive display nonetheless after what, by his standards, has not been a great season. Lol gets a lot of stick from many corners of the rugby world and not much of it seems entirely fair. For some reason he often seems to be the one member of the world winning cup squad, who is still playing, but gets none of the general respect afforded by the general England rugby community to the others, when he turns in his club, rather than national shirt.

It is possible to point out the odd bit of foul play down the years, but its hard to class him as being worse than the average when it comes to the dark arts of play up front. Certainly the likes of Neil Back and Martin Johnson pushed the envelope even further without attracting the same hostility from opposing fans, anyway not everyone can be as truly beyond reproach as HRHRH(!!!) I suppose it might still be connected with the regrettable circumstances that surrounded his loss of the English captaincy, but surely this is ancient history, even if it was ever the story it was made out to be. At his peak he was a truly great player in a great team who always plays with his heart on his sleeve.