Saturday 4th March: Aviva Premiership Round 17; Gloucester v Harlequins at Kingsholm: Result – Gloucester 27 Harlequins 30, Gloucester 0 league points, Harlequins 5 (1 four-try bonus point). Gloucester now 9th in table on 35 points, Harlequins 7th on 42.
As per this column’s avowed policy, I am going to be honest with you. I did not see this Quins ‘comeback at the death’ victory on the road yesterday both because I don’t normally travel to away games anymore and it wasn’t one of the matches chosen for coverage by BT Sport this weekend.
Having done my domestic chores and read my Saturday morning papers (including the Financial Times Weekend offering that I purchase every now and again just for the of variety), I wolfed down a tomato, avocado, spring onion, feta cheese and chorizo sausage with balsamic dressing watercress salad and then snuck off for my much-needed post-prandial bedroom nap.
When I returned from my slumbers I discovered the Memsahib clearing the deck for ‘spring cleaning’ action in the drawing room – I could tell that in advance as I shuffled down the stairs because Adele’s album 21 (the one featuring her iconic hit single Someone Like You) was blaring out from the DVD player at 11 out of 10 on the volume knob, as it always does when she is in this mode – and clearly the notion that I might switch that to put on BT Sport’s transmission of whichever Aviva Premiership match it was broadcasting at 3.00pm was quite out of the question.
Thus it was that I came to my computer and donned my headphones to listen to the BBC Radio Gloucester live radio coverage of the Quins match whilst simultaneously knocking out three or four vital emails.
This state of affairs lasted until just past half-time (at which point Quins were giving as good as they got, leading 15-10, responding with two well-taken tries after Gloucester had deservedly gone ahead with a fast start in the early stages) and then about ten minutes into the second stanza, by which time the hosts had scored two more tries and opened a 9 point lead.
It was at this stage that experience helped me sense that all what not well. From her posture and body language, instinct told me that, had she been on Facebook at the time, The Boss would have been changing her current status from ‘Okay’ to ‘Becoming irritated and impatient’.
You could say this was at least understandable. When she is undertaking a ‘blitz’, she likes to do so in an empty house so that she is not distracted from her efforts by your truly going round messing up the place … or indeed, just being there at all, i.e. just reminding her that, while she is undertaking the labours of Hercules, I am just pottering about and relaxing (as per usual on my weekends).
Discretion being the better part, etc. – having read the signals – I did the decent thing by announcing that I proposed to go out and get some fresh air for an hour or so and in the process try to elevate my ‘stepping’ count to nearer its daily target. In response I received a shrug of the shoulders combined with the familiar “About time too!” expression on her dial.
And so that’s what happened.
Upon my return I was distracted by other things – not least the Liverpool v Arsenal Premier League match on Sky Sports (won 3-1 by the home team) – and was a surprised and delighted as any other fan when I came back to the computer in the wee hours to discover that Quins had actually done the impossible and won an away game, on this occasion by posting an unlikely two tries and 15 points during the last nine minutes of the game after facing defeat at 27-15 down.
For those (like me) interested in exactly how it all happened – and even an indication whether it was a brilliant, free-flowing end-to-end clash or just a low-key snore-fest – I suggest we all go and read the reports in the quality newspapers and the ‘usual suspect’ rugby websites.