Kevin Myers: Hurrah for Henry -- he has spared us a double dose of southern hemisphere humiliation
Published 17/06/2010 | 05:00
YES, indeed, the Irish rugby tour in the Southern Hemisphere is going rather like Paraguay's armed attack on Texas. But only the visionary generosity of Thierry Henry's hand has prevented a far worse catastrophe: of our having to endure, alternately, both rugby and soccer news from the southern hemisphere, as the shallows of our sporting talent were ruthlessly plumbed -- by the Maoris one day, the Uruguayans the next, the Mexicans on another day, and one-legged Aborigines the day afterwards.
Now, we all know that Ronan O'Gara can't tackle. If you play him at out-half away to teams like France or New Zealand, his selection is more probably for reasons of squad-politics or some strange subconscious renal urges than for a desire to win. When this column criticised his selection after the French debacle, he wrote a letter of complaint to this newspaper. This triggered off an internet storm of the usual infantile vapidity.
Irish soccer has its own Ronan O'Gara, by the name of Robbie Keane: spot-on at the spot-kicks, and quite outstanding in the Sunday morning pub-league. Put Mr Keane up against The Red Lion, Crewe, or The Palsied Bishop, Lincoln, and he will score goals galore, followed by some neat forward-rolls in celebration. But put him up against a well-drilled defence, and he will wander round, baffled, like David Norris at an orgy of Catholic lesbian nuns.