5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
But only the truly fanatical rugby supporter could have enjoyed what was a fairly dire affair. In fact this one could be entered for Bore of the Millennium with every good chance of clearcut victory.
Viewers who tuned in late to television coverage might have been confused when the images they saw were of Welsh players, with arms upraised, celebrating. They weren't celebrating a famous victory but rather a fourth minute injury time try - the only try of the match - which had no bearing on the outcome except to serve as a consolation score for the home side.
And for those late viewers the consolation of having missed what had gone before including the attempts of the studio panel - Jeremy Guscott, Scott Gibbs and a Rugby League guru - to talk up a game that was littered with spilled ball, aimless punting, lost lineout, more spilled ball and the raking of Colin Charvis that had it been done on the street outside, would have attracted police attention.
The other 'highlight' of the studio contribution was their efforts to extoll the virtues of Iestyn Harris. The man who was hailed the new Barry John after his first game for Cardiff has since moved to the centre, which presumably means he is next to the next Barry John, and his contribution amounted to two long distance penalties, a tap over conversion and precious little else. A player of rich talent, no question. The next Barry John, who knows. But Brian O'Driscoll, he aint.
The Australians now prepare for the final assignment against the Barbarians and by their demeanour and performance yesterday they seem to be looking forward to that with about the same enthusiasm as a turkey might have in the run up to Christmas.