I had predicted that this 6 Nations tournament would see England beating only Italy.
I was sure that Ireland and Wales would beat us as indeed they did. The scores suggested games closer than in truth they were, but now I'm beginning to think, well, maybe they were closer than I previously thought, but no, England playing Ireland were crap. Ireland were not at their inventive spoiling best and we should have had a scoreline that showed the real difference....
And then came France. They are a paradoxical team. I thought we would have our noses rubbed in the dirt and, living here in France, fully expected to be on the receiving end of a bit of friendly French leg pulling.
I didn't see it coming.
The neighbours must have heard our shouts and cries of glee, our loud table thumping cheers and the knock upon the door after 40 minutes was half hearted to say the least, when a French neighbour arrived with a bottle of red, and entered with his daughter to sit down and watch the 2eme mi-temps with us.
29 nil and half time...
The kitchen table was covered in empty stubby bottles of Grimbergen, Leffe blonde, Carlsberg and Fischer from the Alsace; the bowls of peanuts and chips were empty... the red wine poured, I was glad it wasn't my turn to cook Sunday dinner...we always dine, we rarely déjeune on a Sunday...
And the end came, with two tries gifted to the French... well no, that isn't strictly true either, they were well worked and consolatory but the end result said 34 -10.
I couldn't believe it. I still can't.
We now have to beat the Scots, and I doubt that Italy will beat the French; they will be on the rebound and pride is at stake... and Ireland ? Who knows? I just hope they stop the Welsh from playing their game and have the steadfastness of mind to hold on, control the game and win the Grand Slam. If they do, I'll buy a bottle of Paddy. I might even go out and buy Le Maillot Vert