I’ve been called a lot of things in my time – a sundry, a ham-fisted lover, a glam rock apologist – but, proudly, I’ve never been dubbed a hypocrite. And I’m not keen for it to start.
As such, I have a confession – I don’t like Aussie soccer. Never have. My attitude towards the Socceroos is of laissez-faire tolerance. I often serve it with a haughty dollop of contempt. As such, I just can’t support them and keep a clear conscience.
So, where does a love of rugby and my World Cup FOMO intersect? Finding a new team, that’s where! I need a team that can actually win a game, one that will keep me interested until deep in the tournament. And I thought I’d start with what I know.
Anyone else in the same position? Here are some thoughts…
The Crusaders – Germany. You think people don’t like you because they’re jealous of success. I guess I could agree, but then we’d both be wrong. It runs much deeper than that.
The Waratahs – England. You’ve fluked it once and you’ll keep dining out. You bill yourselves as the perpetual underachievers. However, this says more about your deluded ego than your true potential.
The Sharks – France. They may look like a professional team, and play like a professional team, but don’t let them fool you, they could actually be a professional team. You say you’re rocks or diamonds, but you look like a crepe.
The Hurricanes – Spain. You’ve got all the pieces – pace, skill, and some die-hard support. But, this year, something’s missing. However, I don’t have the time nor the crayons to explain it to you right now.
The Bulls – Uruguay. Once were feared and now derided. You aspire to mediocrity. You’re often your own worst enemy. At least at least you’ll try hard to win, albeit after you’ve had a go at everything else.
The Western Force – Italy. As my high school cricket coach would delight in saying – you’re playing an important position, it’s called left-right-out. Get over it. When life gives you lemons, you should at least say thank you.
After a hit-and-miss group stage for the Wallabies, and a momentum building prelude to the knockout stages for the English, it is do-or-die as the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals get underway with a bumper clash between two of the oldest enemies in global sport.