I was up early in the morning and started to watch the Rugby World Cup Sevens around 0630 GMT and ended up spending the whole day (bar one shopping trip to town for essential supplies) ensconced in front of the television watching every match. Sevens is entertaining and fully deserves to win Olympic status (the opposition comes from softball and baseball so no contest). Its also an endurance test when you play in the desert in one of the most physically demanding of sports. By the time we got to the final you could see the levels of exhaustion in both the women’s and the men’s finals.
In the men’s competition all the quarter finals went against form with New Zealand, England, South Africa and Fiji all crashing out. Given that Wales had beaten the All Blacks in Wellington recently I thought we had a chance, and while the score was tight we went through. Samoa have always been troublesome but we saw them off in the semi-final to set up a final with Argentina. Now there is an extra twist here, in the Argentina and Wales are the only two nations in the world with native welsh speaking areas. Patagonia was a welsh colony in case you didn’t know and for an interesting alternative history read Jasper Fforde for whom Patagonia is Wales’s Vietnam in an alternative world where the Crimean War continues. A good guide to Fforde’s world can be found here.
Either way, although the lead swapped several times Wales won albeit for a very tense final 20 seconds. The rug in our sitting room lost several years of life due to active pacing and I gather my victory shout was heard 500 yards away through three two foot thick stone walls. The odds were 80-1 against by the way, so I really wish I had popped into Ladbrokes yesterday.
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I caught up with some reading over the weekend, including the New Scientist where this ...