Gatland has confirmed all is well prepared for this Saturday’s Six Nations clash between the mighty Welsh and the current top of the table Irish.
“The team is in a good place mentally, spiritually and physically.” he said, “especially after the French win. They do have one area that remains troublesome however, and that is the wearing of personal headphones when being transported to the game.”
Gatland suggested he would much prefer a sing-a-long on the coach “like it was in the old days back on the North Island”. What’s New Pussy Cat?, Myfanwy and even the controversial Delilah are all on the bus’s tape deck, waiting to be played when the team are ready to socially engage.
“Usually, by the time we pick up Warburton from the top of his Mam’s street every player has plugged in and tuned out.” Gatland was overheard to have said last night to his kicking coach Neil Jenkins. Neil was plugged in himself, lost in the Super Furry Animals new CD this reporter observed.
Other teams are less prepared. The English currently sitting in second place have a home game against the Scots, and are likely to field a much weakened fifteen. The English Cricket Board in desperation after failing to progress out of the group stage of the Cricketing World Cup, have offered captaincy and guaranteed playing positions to sportsmen of any other denomination. All salary caps will be removed and training on how to hold a bat, throw a ball and correct box placement will be provided this weekend. It is rumoured half the English rugby team have already left for Sydney to spectate the remaining Cricket World Cup game against Afghanistan on Friday. The cricket board want the new players to witness a defeated team and to feel the pain from a distance. This may better help in preparation for the Ashes tournament later this year at Lords. Certainly not on how to win, but how to lose gracefully.
Italy will play at home against the French in an important match for Wales. Even when Wales beat Ireland this weekend to even up the points on the table, the accumulative tournament score difference against Wales may give Ireland the trophy. Anyone with a little mental arithmetic ability will have already worked out we really need Italy to beat France by 100 points to nil. We would also require the Scots to trounce the English, also by 100 points. And in the last weekend of the competition, Scotland have to dominate Ireland in a 200 point victory. France beating England would also be beneficial, not that we would tactically need that result, but just for us to laugh and gloat at both their rugby and cricket teams as we already do at their football. What a Grand Slam that will be. Wales of course will defeat the gladiatorial Italians at their home ground securing the Six Nations Trophy for the Millennium Stadium Museum Tour.
Gatland and the WRU have advised the semi-artificial turf at the Stadium is in a great condition for the game. It will literally be an uphill battle for the Irish however, as the stadium officials have noted the hydraulic lifts used to stabilise the pitch when being transported in and out of the stadium have developed a fault. This is causing a fifteen degree angle in the playing surface. It will be advantageous for the Welsh in the first half as the team will be able to run down the gradient when attacking the Irish. The officials have arranged to look at the wiring during half time to see if the problem can be rectified before the game resumes. They can’t guarantee it will not make it worse for the Irish though, especially if all they can do with the limited time available is to reverse the pitch, of the pitch.
Good luck to the boys this weekend. Bring on the mighty red dragons, the players us lads dreamt we could be when playing on freezing top mountains in the schools of Wales. Enjoyo boyos, as we will all be watching, and cheering, and we will be proud.