I spent this weekend getting up a 6 in the morning to watch the quarter finals of the rugby world cup taking place in New Zealand. The game of rugby is not played or watched in any part of Bulgaria as far as I know, although their neighbours in Romania fielded a team for this years world cup.
The first match up this weekend was Wales v Ireland, and being a guest in west Wales thought it good and proper to support the home side, and after watching the initial exchanges this proved to be a wise choice not only to keep in with my hosts, but also to be able to cheer on the better playing team. This match was shortly followed by England v France. When it comes to sport and in particular team sports, the English team are over hyped by the media and then everyone feels let down at the spectacle on offer. I have some interest in Rugby and even more so since I have moved to Wales. The Welsh media, and many fans are normally quite pessimistic though, so any triumph is welcomed with open arms. English fans of rugby and football alike seem to believe that we should win every game and if we don’t there is a withchunt for the scapegoat, and blame everything on anybody other than the team not actually being good enough.
Needless to say the English performed to their normal standard, and the French team are now through to the semi finals next week against Wales.
The coverage following these two matches quickly skated over how well either of the winning teams had played, and had deservedly progressed in the competition, but quickly turned into an hour long analysis on where it had all gone wrong with the England team. The whole media on ITV just made the English seem like a big bunch of bad losers, which from the media point of view we probably are. Not once did they make any positive remark about a team that had progressed at the top of their group and been knocked out by a better team in the quarter finals. All we had was, ‘players out drinking’, ‘unproven manager’, ‘no CEO of rugby’, anything but the better team won. So it was nice to see when they interviewed the players, that they were obviously disappointed with being out of the competition, but also acknowledged that on the day the french were the better side.
My hosts were delighted that Wales won, and even seemed disappointed with the England result, when I questioned this, they told me they thought Wales would beat England and didn’t fancy there chances against the French. One of them also received a severe weather warning on his mobile phone shortly after the England game. By all accounts there is a ‘Shower of Shit’ arriving from New Zealand some time on Monday. You have been warned!