Below par

In Justin Marshall's words, this edition of the 6N has been "below par".

For some two weeks I have been quite out of the world of rugby and I have not paid attention to all the dumbness that keeps the world going on. I must be kind of awakening now, as I consider Justin Marshall has just said too much.

"Justin: below par? Do you mean below par?"

It amazes me how much the smallest ones keep on trying and trying, never giving up, to maybe have a chance some day and be able to find themselves in a position of winning. If then the referees, luck and establishments allow them; perhaps they will have a chance to be crown winners.

Just to find that somebody calls that edition below par?

Oh no, pal. Whatever but not below par. England were presenting their best possible squad. A week before the tournament started, you would have not betted on an english Grand Slam just because it was so poorly rewarded. The RWC runner-ups, with a rejuvenated team, keeping the good and adding quality... could they ever lose? Italy is getting better and better. Narrow losses against every team but Wales and their yearly win against Scotland makes them certainly not below par. Ireland's rugby was not certainly below par. Ireland's rugby is where the past years have taken them. Perhaps, the only discussion could be whether the French side was as good as it could have been or not. And here, I will agree that the French side is meant to grow stronger. But it happens once and again: teams need changes from time to time and it has been so for ages. It is not something new, nor has ever any edition been called "below par" just because the French were trying to start again. However, three wins and losses to England and Wales don't certainly make a weak France.

Give credit to the Welsh. They played well. They grew up as a team every week and they have shown some outstanding things. It's true that luck has been with them at times, but no one is crowned champion with no luck at all.

Wales deserved it and it is unfair to call the tournament "below par" just because neither France nor England got the title.


Anonymous said...

You make for an interesting analysis. Was the 6N under par because Wales won it. I don't know the answer but I know I would have never picked them. On the other hand, barring Scotland and Italy, England should have won the 6N based upon all the propaganda we are fed on the international websites. France were worthy of a bet but underperformed in the scrum. Some nay say this was a sign of weakness. I say the French uinderestimated the opposition. Check the number of players the French bled. It has to be twice any body else.
The Irish are just what they presented in the RWC 07. It is not a quality rugby nation and probaluy, in my lifetime, never be.
But they do have immensely enthusiatic fans who claim the Irish are one of the leading powerhouses.
It is true that Munster are an excellent side but to be in the elite, it takes more than one overly ambitious province.
I believe that the ^n was a bit short on class coming so soon after the RWC. But that is my take.
England and France being out of the championship is a relief not an excuse.

Anonymous said...

Oh yea, Justin Marshall is concentrating too much on the future and not the present.

sesenta y cuatro said...

Yes, my point is basically: Had England cruised to a Grand Slam, no one would have ever said anything about the par level.

Anonymous said...

You got it!