Sunday, 3 November 2013

Have you heard the one about the Irish rugby league team?

You could be forgiven for not knowing that Ireland has its own rugby league team.   One reason for this would be that it doesn't really. 

In reality, rugby league is only played in parts of England, most of Australia, bits of New Zealand, and some of France - plus all of Papua New Guinea where it's the national sport.  (Stick with me and you'll learn stuff).

Absolutely nowhere, to my knowledge, is it played in Ireland.  In fact, despite being a rugby fan for all of my life, I have only ever encountered one Irish rugby league player - who then chose to play rugby union instead.

However, with a Rugby League World Cup to put on, it was vital to have some other teams for Papua New Guinea and co to play.  Step forward Ireland. 

So yesterday, my rugby dad mates Dublin Dan and Very Welsh Dylan went to Huddersfield to cheer on the boys in green against England.

(You've got to get into the spirit of these things).

England managed build up a narrow 30 point lead by half-time after 106 lucky bounces of the ball.

But Ireland rallied and managed to escape with a mere 42-0 deficit by the time the final whistle blew.

And a fun time was most certainly had by all, especially Grubber the Bear who appeared to have had more beer than the other 24,000 of us put together.

Commenting afterwards, Irish skipper Pat Richards said: "Strewth mate, I thought the result was fair dinkum against a bunch of bloody ripper Poms, cobber." 
Pat is due fly back home after Ireland's final group game next weekend.
I have no idea where that might be.