Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: Wood you believe it, we lose to Scots, beat All Blacks

By Billy Weir

You have to think even with that smug English bake on him and smarm to burn, John Inverdale must have a wee bit of Irish in him.

His name for example, Inver meaning Larne and Dale meaning 'it's always raining', shows that there could be a link and it didn't take him long to mention ferries as the Six Nations Championship kicked off with a trip across the Irish Sea to play Scotland.

"By trains, boats and planes they've come from all over Ireland, buoyed by their autumn victory over the All Blacks and thinking this could be the year for the Grand Slam showdown against England in six weeks' time," he said.

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Or perhaps not as not for the first time someone trying their luck against Scotland were forced to head for home and think again, although anyone giving Keith Wood a lift, whether by train, boat or plane, will have had a long journey back to Munster.

Before the game he was quite chirpy, sent to interview fellow Munsterman Conor Murray, who, like all boys in green, were still waffling on about beating men in black.

"Did you go wild after Chicago?" enquired Wood.

"We had a few Guinness," admitted Murray. A word to the wise, forget about all things black, drink and rugby, that round has now finished, don't do a Northern Ireland and think one win over England can keep you going for an entire generation.

The warning had been for dark and stormy times at Murrayfield, I think for the weather, but Wood was in a bit of a mood as if he had seen the forecast and wasn't happy about it.

"Is Garry Ringrose the new Brian O'Driscoll?" enquired Inverdale.

"No, he's the first Garry Ringrose," came Wood's retort and his mood by the break was even darker as Ireland trailed 21-8 and desperately made a call for someone called Brady to report to Murrayfield as soon as possible.

"Would you be happy with a losing bonus now?" Inverdale pressed.

"No, I have no interest in a bonus point," came Wood's reply but by the end that's exactly what he and Ireland came away with.

"Just what I always wanted," lied Wood and it was time to head back to the ferry to think again. Still, we beat the All Blacks. Once.

Belfast Telegraph

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