A game of pirouettes and that dazzling ‘back-heel flick’

That time of the year again…. 6 Nations Rugby Championship time!!

The best time of the year - RBS 6 Nations Rugby Championship
The best time of the year has arrived – Six nations rugby championships

Wales versus Ireland at Cardiff Arms Park has to be one of the most wonderfully entertaining matches I’ve ever seen: 277 tackles!!!… But what about Ireland winger Simon Zebo’s extraordinary back-heel flick? Sheer magic!

Ireland winger Simon Zebo's dazzling 'back-heel flick'
Ireland winger Simon Zebo’s dazzling ‘back-heel flick’

Oh… and the best bit? Wales 22 : Ireland 30 .

When can their glory fade?

In hibernation no more
Quench your thirst
The moment is ripe.
Above the hallowed Cardiff turf
Be of good courage
Break through the line

Follow the Celtic roar.
Bring on the Grand Slam!!

Wales Vs Ireland, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
21st March, 17.30 hrs (GMT)

The Irish invasion of Wales has begun…


The ensuing Grand Slam victory (Wales 15 Ireland 17), and the feel good factor of this amazing win has Ireland abuzz with talk of lifting the gloom, kick-starting the economy and routing the recession. You know what? This might even be the case.

Gerry Thornley – Credit where credit is due

If someone makes a huge difference in your life it certainly doesn’t hurt anyone to show your appreciation for their hard work, especially if you have never met that person face-to-face: Credit where credit is due.

It’s the middle of the rugby union Six Nations 2008 Championships back home, my favourite time of the sporting year, with Ireland once again battling it out for glory against France, Italy, Wales, England and Scotland, and I know  back home in Ireland everyone is glued to their televisions in anticipation of triumph.  Great craic to be had by all especially when, with two rouds to go, any one of four teams can still claim the Six Nations title.

Wisdom in the shape of a rugby ball
Wisdom in the shape of a rugby ball

And here I am in China… no rugby, let alone Six Nations rugby is broadcast on State-run CCTV television, and the games on the Star Sports/ESPN satellite channels –if you can find a bar that uses the Philippines as opposed to Hong Kong signal to broadcast the rugby matches – are on so friggin late!

Well all is not lost… cue Gerry Thornley, the Rugby correspondent for the Irish Times, who in my humble opinion is the divine being of sports journalism. The way his words illustrate the protagonists, the villains, and set the scenes before, during and after each match is mind-boggling… he really is a master craftsman when it comes to writing and I’d be truly fecked if I couldn’t read his prose in the build up to each game.

So credit where credit is due….


From: Gerry Thornley [mailto:gxxx@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 27 February, 2008 10:16 PM
To: niall_xxx@xxx.com
Subject: Re: ireland .com:All Black blue blood steeped in red


Cheers Niall,


Much appreciated.


Sat, Feb 16, 2008 at 11:45 PM

From: Niall
Re: “All Black blue blood steeped in red” [ http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/sport/2008/0216/1203093377123.html }
Hi Gerry
As a diehard Irish rugby fan living in China, where the State television monopoly makes it almost impossible to view any of the games Live, the manner of your writing talent only adds to my sense of frustration. Keep it up… I consider you the very best sports writer around.
All the best