Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: They came, they saw, they got slam dunked

Prize for the Freudian slip of the year goes to former England hero turned chubbier by the day pundit Jeremy Guscott before Martin Johnson’s (pictured) men marched onto the turf at the Aviva Stadium.



“They’ve got to embrace it, not show any bottle,” Jeremy told us and fair play to the Grand Slam chaps they took him at his word.

Cricket, Cheltenham, now rugby, is the green machine ever going to stop rubbing the auld enemy’s noses in it? What next, Eddie Jordan knocking Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton out of the way when the Formula One starts next weekend? I can’t wait.

John Inversoft is the unflappable Englishman you could depend upon with a cliché and a stripy shirt in a crisis, but even he was having the mickey taken out of him, when Keith Wood gave his prediction.

“It has to be England,” the jolly green giant said, to a chorus of ‘really’, before the cheeky beggar cackled ‘but I think Ireland will win it by a couple of points.’ Gotcha.

Over on RTE, George Hook, a man never full of the joys, was so cheesed off that he suggested Ireland ‘are now a Formula One car without a number one driver.’ Quick, get Eddie on the phone.

Then came the match, the mauling and the inquest, and there was no escape for the man who had talked up England’s chances an hour and a half earlier. No, not Johnson, George, who wasn’t being let off the hook by his comrades.

They came at him from all angles, forcing him to enquire, “Am I not allowed to defend myself, is this a lynching party?” Yes it is.

But there was no glossing over the smiling Irish eyes on a day like this, even Declan Kidney, who you just expect to say was in reasonable form, philosophising on the ‘manicness’ of sport.

I think he meant the result, not George, but who would argue?

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