Friday, 23 January 2009

Thomond Park may be invaded by legions of Fiachras, Fintans and Fachtnas


This week's column from the paper.



IN A few months time, there’s more than a small chance that the rugby world will truly enter the Twilight Zone, with Munster calling the RDS home and Leinster setting up temporary residence in Thomond Park.

I excrement you not. This could actually happen if both sides were to reach the European Cup semi-finals and - by the luck of the draw - each were to get a home fixture.

ERC rules stipulate that teams who receive home advantage for a European semi cannot play the game in their home ground and must nominate a neutral venue in their home country.

That rules Thomond Park out and the regulations of the GAA mean that Croke Park would also not be an option (heaven forbid an Irish side were to play a game in a stadium which was built with Irish tax-payers’ money.)

Unfortunately, construction work in Lansdowne Road won’t be completed on time either and that leaves one undesirable remaining option.

While particularly delusional Leinster fans will tell you that the Royal Dublin Society has become something of a fortress since Drico and pals started plying their trade there, in reality it is the ugly cousin to Thomond Park’s homecoming queen.

For one thing, the ground can only hold 18,500 (although this would have to be increased to 20,000 for a European semi-final). On top of that, my reliable rugby sources inform me that well over half of these tickets would go to sponsors and visiting fans if the match were to be played there.

Also, playing our home match in our arch rival’s ground would necessitate having to navigate the labyrinthine streets of the capital. Half of us probably wouldn’t make it past the Red Cow Roundabout.

And as if that isn’t bad enough, on the same weekend that we’re all out of town, legions of Leinster supporters will invade our brand new stadium when no one’s looking.

Limerick will become part of the Pale for 24 hours as blue, harp-emblazoned flags are draped around Thomond Park, ‘Alive Alive-O’ is sung from the terraces and barmen in the stadium try to figure out what the hell Courvoisier Cognac is.

It’s just not right. Richard Harris would do a few pirouettes in his grave, stray dogs would howl outside the stadium gates and - worst of all - instead of respectful silence, kicks at goal would be marked by cheers and jeers from legions of Fiachras, Fintans and Fachtnas.

I know it may be jumping the gun a little to speak of this possibility before Munster even play their last group game but if we don’t address the matter now, it may be too late. You have been warned.


Lucky gal


NOTHING says ‘I love you’ quite like phoning in a few bomb threats to your girlfriend’s school just so she can get out of class early, as the old saying goes.

That was the course of action taken by lovesick puppy (and complete looney tune) Christopher Wiley in Pennsylvania, USA, who caused his lucky girlfriend’s school to be evacuated 13 times over the space of eight days.

“What’s the problem there?” says you.

“None at all, just a bit of craic.” says I.

But those right-wing nuts in America don’t take kindly to the odd love-inspired bomb threat, it seems, as they threw poor old Chris into the slammer for his antics.

What an over-reaction. I mean he didn’t even blow up the school. Not once.

Thank the gods the authorities on this side of the Atlantic are a little more understanding when it comes to the crazy hijinks of a man in love. I’ll tell you, if I was flung behind bars every time I rang in a bomb threat, kidnapped a beloved pet or wrote a love letter in my own blood just to impress the object of my affections, I’d have my own suite in Limerick Prison.


Sweet nothings


SPEAKING of sacrifices made in the name of love, one unlucky Chinese lady will be hearing sweet feck all - as opposed to sweet nothings - for a while after a supposedly inoocent smooch caused her to lose her hearing in one hear.

Such a powerful kisser was her boyfriend that he caused the pressure in her mouth to reduce, pulling her eardrum out and causing the breakdown of her ear.

Thankfully, her hearing should be back to normal in three months time, the lady’s doctor pointed out between guffaws of laughter.

1 comment:

Indie Sessions said...

Cardiff/Toulouse V Leicester/Bath
Munster/Ospreys V
Harlequins/Leinster