Any slight frustration I felt at about 6.00pm last night, my long record of hopeless sporting predictions still intact after England’s 13-10 victory over Ireland at Twickenham, was surpassed by sheer delight and wonder at the pulsating game of rugby that I had just witnessed on television.
Those who predicted a tight, desperately close, encounter were proved right.
No excuses from me. I had merely taken the considered view that, after much heavy duty pounding, one side or the other would gain dominance and eventually drive home their ascendancy in the final quarter as the other tired. It could have happened – both sides butchered several excellent try-scoring opportunities – but (the truth is) the organisation, technique and also fitness of modern international defences makes them damned difficult to penetrate.
So hats off the both England and Ireland for mounting another full-bloodied, no quarter given, extremely physical test match. The result has blown the outcome of this year’s Six Nations championship wide apart and I cannot wait for the next round of matches.