So last night was the start of the Six Nations 2015, and the opening match was Wales vs. England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The kids were up in bed, TW was out for the evening, and I was ensconced in the living room with a bottle of red wine. Work was done for the day, I had taken off my suit (we had had visitors) and I was relaxed.
The build-up to the match was sensational; they turned off the lights in the stadium and had a brilliant light show. England refused to come out on to the pitch because they thought that Wales would keep them waiting, and as it turned out there were more fireworks and build-up before the Welsh team emerged. The match started, eventually, and things went Wales’s way, they were very quickly ten points up. England scored a try to pull back five points, Mike Brown put in a lovely little grubber kick which was picked up by Watson for the try.
The rest of the half was enthralling, they played hard and fast, Wales put on another two penalties, and England took one, so that the score was 13-8 as half-time approached. Wales were pushing hard, and on the last play before half-time they dropped a goal to go 16-8 up. What a threatening way to finish the half, and I was gutted.
However, it seemed that a different England team came out of the changing room after half-time. They upped the tempo, and Wales were on the back foot, scrambling to get back and defend in an organised manner. Within five minutes of the restart, England had another try, Joseph slipped a tackle and was clear, he crossed the line and ran it back to almost under the posts, making the conversion simple for Ford. England were in touching distance, at 16-15.
It was a tense twenty minutes before there was another score, England took a penalty to go 16-18 up; it was a start, but the match was nowhere near won, and there was still fifteen minutes to go. If I had any nails, I would have been biting them, and I was hugging myself and gently rocking, hoping against hope that England might hold out against Wales. I was worried that they would suddenly get a second wind and take the game away from England. As it was, England scored again, which broke the tension, but then it was disallowed because Easter had over-run the ball, and obstructed the game. Gutted! The score was back to 16-18. Haskell as well, made it as far as the line, but was prevented from scoring by the goalposts. He tried to deposit the ball at the base of the posts, which would have been a try, but it didn’t work out. England were in the ascendancy, but they just couldn’t turn their advantage into points on the board. It could still have gone Wales’ way; all they needed was a quick break and they could have been home free.
In the last minute of the game, Ford took another three points and England were 16-21 up. It wasn’t possible for Wales to win from there, but they played out the game. It was a tense game, I was tense for the full 80 minutes, and it was as though we were on a tightrope, teetering high and liable to crash out at any point. What a great game, both sides gave it their all, I thought, and it was a great way to start the tournament. The icing on the cake was the win for England.
With the wine drained, and the excitement levels slowly returning to normal, I headed off to bed. I am looking forward to seeing today’s matches, although I think TW might have something to say about that…

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