Sunday, January 18, 2009

Deflecting the Spin

Oh ‘eck. The wheels came off the wagon at Kingsholm this afternoon, a dire second half performance by Gloucester handing the spoils to a more streetwise, more committed, more cohesive, more intelligent Cardiff group. I stood and applauded the Welsh fellows after the match, ruefully reflecting how my favoured team could do with a Martyn Williams, a Gareth Thomas or a Tom Shanklin right now. As things stand, we lack leadership on and off the park, strong ball carriers to break through the line of gain and, most importantly, decision makers with the nous and wit to boss matches and assess tight situations quickly. Today, the cherry and whites contrived to lose a match they were winning at half time against a side that was reduced to fourteen characters after a red card following a head butt and who struggled to collect a single line-out ball all day. The city club was exposed badly; a brighter outfit would have won at a canter faced with the same set of circumstances. I am not – hopefully – one of those supporters who believes his side to be world-beaters on the back of a victory and, the very next week, lamenting the same collective as a beneath contempt bunch of losers. Howe’er, to suggest I was disappointed at no-side would be a substantial understatement and I would be surprised if we don’t look back at Gloucester vs Cardiff 18.1.09 as a key match in several individuals' association wi’ the famed Kingsholm club.

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