Sport Rugby

Tuesday 24 April 2018

D'Arcy's fighting talk like red rag to a bully

The kind of stuff you need to come out with in an interview before a big match should go along the lines of: "He's definitely a superstar. If we don't front up, make the hard yards and go through the phases when we win dirty ball, he will have us on the back foot going forward. And sure wasn't his grandfather on the run with Nelson Mandela."

Gordon Bennett. D'Arcy, what was going through your head? Telling it as it is to journalists. What next? Will politicians give up claiming pensions before they retire and will orgasm faking and "I only had two pints" be cut from the list of white lies and rebranded as mortal sins?

For sure D'Arcy's words will be taped on to the Springboks wall. Here's what he said, for the record.

"The only way to face these guys is to stand toe-to-toe with them. If there is any bullying to be done, we will do it." Jeez Darce you might as well have said Mandela was under the bed during the Troubles.

Bullying is a very serious offence in the workplace or at home, but it's different on the rugby field, isn't it? The bully is a hero -- and rightly so. But you don't say that kind of stuff -- it's kept in the privacy of the dressing room.

Then Bernard Jackman comes out with a comment that Felipe Contepomi hates Munster because they slagged, sorry sledged, him over losing the Falklands War to Britain. I didn't know that conflict was decided on penalties. There's no truth in the rumour that he retorted with "sure didn't ye lot get yer a***s kicked at the Siege of Limerick?"

A sensitive Munster forward supposedly asked O'Gara if Felipe was referring to the Leinster game on Good Friday.

Munster will meet up with Contepomi again next January in Toulon. I think you can take it the Munster lads won't be coming out with "what happened to ye at Waterloo and World War Two?" It's so passe.

There might well be an economic war, though. The last time we had one of those Dev stopped the export trade to Britain and there were more calves in our rivers than salmon, but we got back Cobh Ramblers.

Picture it. Stade Mayol. Munster versus Toulon. Contepomi starts it off with: "I hear the whole country is in negative equity?"

"Yeah," reply the Munster boys, "and you have to fill up a wheelbarrow with pesos to buy a bar of chocolate in Buenos Aires."

Contepomi implodes and is binned for talking down the economy.

It seems the video analysts are scouring the History Channel for clips on the Boer War and the Zulu uprisings. The South Africans only have to watch YouTube footage of the Dail if they need any ammo.

Most teams employ an army of professional back-up staff such as dieticians, shrinks and physios -- Kidney could be looking for an economist and a couple of historians. One revisionist and one regular.

He should also hire a bully to teach D'Arcy how it's done. The secret of bullying is to pick on someone smaller than you. Bismarck du Plessis is the hooker. I'll bet there's history somewhere in that name. His brother Jannie is almost impossible to best. The brothers were born in Bethlehem, no doubt under a star, and stars they are. Bismarck is easily the best hooker in world rugby. The boys are heavier than the national debt in 10-cent coins.

Loose-head Tendai Mtawarira is known as 'Beast' and he effectively finished Phil Vickery's career with the Lions in the First Test. The second row of Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield are also widely regarded as the best in the world. They are huge and lethal in the line-out.

Our guess is canny Kidney will tell his kickers to keep the ball from going into touch with plenty of quick All Blacks-style throws from behind the point of entry.

Maybe D'Arcy's statement was a classic piece of misinformation designed to disguise our true intentions.

Ireland will have to avoid toe-to-toe if they are to win this one. You can read the South African mindset by their pre-match patronising. Their coach Peter de Villiers says we are "the best first phase team in the world." This means: "We can destroy the Irish scrum and line-out".

It could well be the South Africans are too tired to read the papers after a 25-hour journey on the latter day equivalent of the ghost train -- FAS obviously had nothing to do with the travel arrangements.

I have done long-haul flying as well and it certainly takes a few days to get over it.

Yes we can win alright, but it might be no harm if Gordon could text Big Victor -- "only joking, lol." Lol can mean either lots of love or lots of laughs or preferably both. By the way, congrats Gordon on reaching 50. The Boy From Wexford has done Ireland some service. He has recovered from all kinds of setbacks, which is the true measure of a man. I hope he leads our boys out today for the homecoming.


We'll finish with the non-horrible history of South Africa.

'Invictus' is the true, if slightly Hollywood-styled, World Cup-winning tale of the birth of the Rainbow Nation and the unlikely friendship between Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar. The Rainbow Nation has seen many dark skies since then, but it's the only country we could live in other than this Terrible Beauty of a place.

Many commentators are sure the fate of the African continent will be determined by the success or failure of South Africa. At the moment the indomitable will of the good people who live there keep the dream alive, but economic success and the unity of the rainbow hang on a thread of Mandela's silver hair.

There's a sequel to 'Invictus'. My Dub-Kerry first cousin Pierre plays a mean trumpet with The Cape Symphony Orchestra. Pierre has lived in South Africa for the last 20 years. He will watch today's game at the very tip of Africa with his beautiful wife Marthina, who comes from a tin village and a family with hearts of gold. The lovers had a baby lately.

Little Clara's cradle rocks the rainbow.

Irish Independent

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