Two important things happen this weekend.
- My parents are visiting and so I’m looking forward to a touristy weekend with plenty of food, drink and general merriment.
- Ireland play Argentina in rugby on Saturday.
More about the parents next week, I’ll be posting photos and will let you know what we got up to. Onto more important things.
Ireland and Argentina have a chequered past in rugby terms. The South Americans “did us over” a few years ago in France during the World Cup (the WC) when we were favourites before the game (they won by four points). That stung and its amazing that 8-9 years on it still gets mentioned. Since then we’ve had the upperhand and have beaten them (albeit, narrowly at times) in the last few meetings.
The present two game tour down to Argentina is for both teams to try out a few things before the WC (again in France as well as the UK) gets underway this September. Both teams have left their first rate players out, to rest, so its a chance for fringe players and new tactics to be tested. It hasn’t gone to plan so far as the Argies won the first test with a late minute drop goal by a player who plays his club rugby in Dublin. Typical.
The other twist in the whole story is that Ireland are actually in the same group as Argentina in the WC and so meet in the final group game. This could be the difference between going through to the next round or packing the bags for home. The other opposition of note in our group is France, the hosts and the team that denied us a victory in the Six Nations by a last minute try and the entire championship by, you’ve guessed it, another last minute try against Scotland.
So the second test on Saturday against Argentina is important for a number of reasons:
- Getting one over them (physically and mentally) before the WC
- A win always boosts moral and for the new players this will be a big lift.
- Chance to try out new players and new formations without giving too much away
Of course, I also have another interest in this as I was lucky enough to get tickets to go see the Ireland vs. Argentina game in Paris in September (in case anyone is interested 210,000 more tickets have just gone on sale but you have to be quick!). To say I’m excited is putting it mildly. We’re going to take the TGV to Paris and spend a long weekend there seeing the city and supporting the boys.
Just have to dust off the Green Guinness hat and I’ll be all set!