Steamroller malfunction

The England steamroller trundled into Cardiff this weekend intent on crushing Welsh ambition. But the Welsh demeanour was a mix of typically nonchalant ‘bring it on’ combined with a generosity towards the profits of Brains beers…

Stadium

City Arms

Meanwhile, others gathered to debate just how much guano would be deposited on the passions of the home nation…

However, in the real world, a tense hard fought match saw the steamroller stuttering in the wake of the sleek limo of the hosts…

Until we speak again, Juno had previously made a far more elegant journey from England to Wales, but always thought of rugby as more of a dogs game, what with all that predilection for hunkering down to sniff each other’s arses!

Scrum      1907_cats

[Football explained, or not!] E is for…

Chilling in the sun

Commentating on this football malarkey can be really tiring. After all, us cats were not fundamentally designed for the sports vibe. So, I thought I would give you an insight into the whole sports journalism business… here I am deeply engrossed in an intensely thought-provoking creative process.

Meanwhile, I sent my resident ‘misguided optimist’ over to the Cardiff City Stadium to be my eyes and ears on the action. This game is slightly different from all the others in the season, because ‘Optimist Central’ is accompanied by a couple of off-spring who support the opposition; a surefire recipe for disappointment somewhere in the group. Anyway, enough of the familial ramblings, it’s time for me to let you in on the meaning of E.

E is for Eponymous, because the collective number of brain cells of a mass of football supporters is slightly in excess of the number of supporters present. So, it seems they need a reminder of where they are now that they have arrived. Welcome to the eponymous…

Welcome to Cardiff City Stadium

But, E is also for Exculpate, as the effervescence of ecstatic passages of play are eternally interrupted by an eccentric epitome of expedience, otherwise known as an ability to go 1-0 down against the balance of play. Who is to blame, or should there be any elective finger pointing at all?

Pointing fingers of blame

Then suddenly E is for Efficacious, a word most commonly associated with Lily the Pink (you have to be over 50 and from the UK to understand that one!). As if by some eccentric ebullience equilibrium is elevated through an equalising goal (you probably have to be bonkers to understand that one!). Expectation will erupt at this point…

Are you ready Cardiff? 2

Then as if by euphoric edification E is for Ethereal, as elegant exuberance masquerades as epiphany… yes, you guessed it, the epicentre of entropy equivocates in eloquence. Not that a bunch of football fans would be capable of such éclat. The opposition are sent into existential angst…

City v Charlton [2]

And all of this happened a few hours before Wales defeated England in the Rugby Union World Cup at Twickenham!! It is safe to say that my home city experienced euphoria in the extreme. Until we speak again I will continue to be Bella… and for the record it was Cardiff City 2 Charlton Athletic 1, with the locals having played 8, won 4, drawn 3, and lost 1, which puts them currently 5th in the league.

Defining disaster

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Its the predilection for sniffing each others arses that reminded Juno that rugby was more a sport of dogs than the superior refinement of the cat. Yet setting aside the strange sexual proclivities of the public school playing fields of England, dressed up as men playing sport, it occasionally provides moments of ‘event’ proportions… and the Wales v England fixture is up there amongst the world’s great rivalries.

IMAG1515The stage is Cardiff, lauded by the locals and many fans around the world as a historic rugby fortress.

It is an hour before the kick-off, and no place for any weary shepherd and virgin combinations, as room in the inn has become impossible to find…

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But the Millennium Stadium is poised ready to greet warriors of both tribes as they converge on the battlefield…

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The tension gets ramped up even further as the full-strength gladiators of Wales enter the arena preparing to slay the under-strength superior numbers of England…

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10 minutes into the match, and everything is going to the home fans favoured script as Wales take a comfortable 10-0 lead. All Welsh minds are reflecting on the demolition of their opponents in this very stadium a mere two years ago. However, England’s patchwork quilt of a team manage to fashion a try of their own to stem the red tide. A few other points from respective boots and half-time arrives with an unexpected but still seemingly comfortable 16-8 lead for the hosts.

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Half-time team talks that transform a performance are legendary, but few and far between. But this must surely have been an occasion when the words said in the England dressing room should be bottled and sold for a fortune. My mind drifts back to a poster featuring one of the present day commentators, England’s own Brian Moore, which basically posed the threatening message ‘It’s not the winning or losing, it’s the TAKING APART!’ Well, Juno would have undoubtedly taunted me during the second half of this match, as the country of her birth, England, set out as a team possessed. With only a few minutes on the clock their persistent pressure and a moment of magic brings about a converted try. 16-15 to Wales, followed shortly after by further disarray in the battered home defence leading to an 18-16 lead for England. With little of any threat from the home team, the visitors add another penalty for a final score of Wales 16 England 21. The home nation are stunned, and the underdogs instantly show what this score means to them…

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It’s the start of the Rugby World Cup year, when these two teams will meet in England in the group stages of the competition. When a full strength Wales lose at home to an understrength England in such a shock one-sided end to a game, don’t believe me or any of my fellow countrymen when we say this has no bearing on the forthcoming World Cup. Half cat half doorLike all good cats we like to shrug off such an experience as a disappointment, when in reality it is better described as a calamitous disaster.

Until we speak again, watch this space… while memories of Juno’s favourite rugby pose neatly sums up the performance of the Welsh team.

[With thanks to shutterstock.com, erfeidine.blogspot.com and tweetsport.co.uk for original posts of the images borrowed to illustrate this tragic tale].