Sunday, 16 October 2011
Semi Final 1: Wales v France
Heartbreak for Wales as Alain Rolland sees red
Travesty! What the hell was Alain Rolland thinking?! You do not give a player a red card in a semi final of a world cup. Why? Because people have paid hundreds of dollars for the privlege to sit in the stand and watch an intense battle. Immediately, this was taken away by a referee's stupid, thoughtless decision. Who does he think is? Referee's need to help the game, not be the key playmaker of the game. The world cup is once every four years. How could you Mr Rolland?
Wales have been robbed. The only team to score a try, even though they were one man down for an hour of the game. How can France - a team that has lost twice already in this world cup - deserve to now be rated as first or second in the world by making the final? I'm speechless. I'm wild. I want to scream out loud.
Sam Warburton's tackle was over exuberant, and yes, as Warren Gatland very eloquently said in his post match interview - a yellow should have sufficed. But from the moment Rolland reached deep into his pocket for red, this game was going to be an Everest for Wales to climb without their captain and star player.
What was incredible was that they so nearly did it. They played a mature game, the game of their lives. To have it taken away from them, well I know how the Welsh are feeling right now. And quite frankly, I have shed a few tears for Wales this morning myself. The injustice of it all. As Slugso so wisely said, the RWC is a cruel mistress.
If only Leigh Halfpenny's kick from over half way in the dying minutes of the game had just found some extra legs. If only Stephen Jones had managed to convert Mike Phillips's quite wonderful try. If only they could have found themselves in the right position to try for a drop goal in the dying seconds. This could have been the most magnificent victory, a statement to the world that Wales mean business. That they would be hard to beat in the final.
Instead, a mediocre France, a team with an extra man yet still couldn't manage to break the Welsh line, have muddled through. It is appalling. It is so unfair. It is dramatic, operatic, incredible rugby at it's best and worst. This game will be talked about for the next 100 years. I feel for you Wales. I'm heartbroken for you.