England v Wales Its The Hope That Kills You

We Welsh are an emotional race, we laugh or we cry, and rarely bother with the run of the mill stuff in between.

Our National team takes full advantage of this Celtic mindset, and constantly provides us with similar polarised emotional experiences, this can happen seasonally, or as happened at Twickenham yesterday, in the space of a single afternoon.

With 79 minutes on the clock Wales trailed England by four points, the Cymric Dr Jekyll we experienced for the opening fifty three minutes of the match had transformed into a free flowing, confident, silky handling Mr Hyde, alas it was all just a little too late to transform us from tears to laughter.

We started welling up early on, or maybe it was just a speck of dust in the eye, as Marcus Smith kicked two penalties in the opening six minutes to give England a 6-0 lead.

After half an hour we began to get the tell tale full lump in the throat as Smith kicked another two penalties, to give England a 12-0 half time lead.

Laughter seemed to be heading down the M4 with its backside on fire as full blown tears loomed ever closer in the rear view mirror. Wales were struggling to put any phases together, struggling at the breakdown, and along with 82,000 thousand others, struggling to understand the referee.

Three minutes into the second half an Alex Dombrandt try completed the dreaded emotional transformation, Wales were 17-0 down making more errors than a Boris Johnson speech writer.

At this stage in the proceedings I would like to introduce you to that cruel Celtic emotional add-on: HOPE.

This is the toughest one of all to deal with, especially when you have already resigned yourself, with extreme difficulty, to the certainty of defeat.

Josh Adams scored a try on fifty four minutes, ok a great consolation but nothing more, Nick Tompkins scores a try on sixty one minutes, Biggar converts to bring the score to 17-12 to England and then it hits us like a runaway train, that HOPE thing is about to kick in.

But of course as we suspected, and as inevitably as night follows day, HOPE disappeared into the Middlesex dusk as another two Marcus Smith penalties, in the space of four minutes, took England’s lead to 23-12, that hope thing can be a heartless creature.

So it’s a fairly swift return to that resigned defeat, but at least we know it’s over, time to come to terms with the fact once and for all, and prepare for the tears.

As if ! when you’re Welsh my friends the emotional tsunami doesn’t end there, not whilst there is still time to wring out a bit more from our emotional flannel.

With the bright Twickenham scoreboard showing 79:31, Kieron Hardy scores from a quick tap penalty, Dan Biggar converts and its 23-19, surely Wales can’t do this, can they ?

Hope springs eternal as the saying goes, and at this stage it is springing like Michael Flattly on steroids, Wales go through seventeen phases with the clock in the red, one last hurrah for HOPE, then with 84:18 on the clock it has gone, like a thief in the night, nowhere to be seen, and we my friends have once again been emotionally mugged.

Laughter to tears is in our DNA it’s how we roll and we have learned to live with that, but it’s the hope that kills you.


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