This is the first time since the inaugral Rugby World Cup in 1987 that Wales have progressed to the semi-final stage.
This time everything seems to be in place; full team fitness, stable mental state, low intake of alcohol (the players not us!), positive attitudes and and more importantly the belief that we can win against France and progress to the final.
Just typing that phrase has sent more tingles down my back.
I believe we can do this and it seems…so does the rest of Wales and beyond.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, spoke in Aberdeen calling on,
“the Scottish and English fans disappointed at their own teams being knocked out of the Rugby World Cup to get behind the Welsh team instead.”
He also announced that Downing Street would be “flying the flag of St David“ this Saturday as Wales meet France in the semi-finals of the tournament. He said it was a total departure from protocol of only flying the flag when a team in a final but it took him a lot of organising (and convincing) to achieve this!
Interestingly is this just a polite way of him saying that he doesn’t think Wales will progress any further so we better do it now – just incase!? PS I’d like to think Y Ddraig Goch will be flown rather than the St David’s flag aswell – hopefully just a mistake on the PM’s behalf?
Wales is gearing up ready for the big game with shops, bars and businesses getting behind the boys and showing their support throughout the country. Brains have adapted their ‘more positive thinking’ campaign to move Wales nearer New Zealand so we can all attend the game whereas shops in Cardiff City centre have been putting up window displays and flags.
The excitement is building, a reported 60,000 people are going to watch the game on three big screens at the Millennium Stadium with other cities and towns joining in aswell. Wales Coach, Warren Gatland, has praised his team’s performance so far and insists that his squad were “no monks” and Wales have had some drink-related disciplinary issues in recent years but it seems this new determination and discipline are paying off.
Speaking at a press conference in Auckland Gatland added,
“There has been a lot made of us that we are like monks and there has been an alcohol ban. It is completely untrue. There has been no alcohol ban in this squad. A lot of the stuff has been self-imposed by the players.”
“A couple of nights the boys have gone back to the hotel and we have had a drink in the hotel. A couple of times we have spoken with Sam (Warburton) and the senior players about putting the curfew on when the players come back after going out. You can’t keep a lid on everything.”
All we have heard so far in the tournament is England this…England that…dwaves….tossing…drinking…jumping….etc so it was refreshing to see the National media take notice that Wales are now the only home Nation left in the tournament and have been featuring the story in the National press. Here is an exerpt from the Daily Mirror announcing the Wales team to take on France! Can you spot the mistakes?
Let’s hope we don’t get Tom Croft, the English flanker for the game!
So can we do it? I’ve only had 10 hours sleep so far this week and can’t really see this improving until the game is over. The alarms have already been set for early Saturday morning, bacon and eggs at the ready but the biggest question is – Will I be drinking a beer at 9am in the morning?