After the big match

January 28, 2008

So we lost. We’re out of the cup. But as the converse of hollow, boring wins, what we did yesterday was fantastic. Taking on a better-prepared, (better-)paid team, we showed up, and gave them one hell of a scare.

Without resorting too much to the world of sour grapes, if a couple of dubious referee’s decisions had gone the other way, I honestly think we could have taken it. We played pretty much according to plan. We were nasty, uncompromising, disruptive, and played in all facets as if we wanted the win more. In the forwards, we dominated everything. In the backs, every man left everything they had on the pitch. I even got to unleash my rapier wit.

As we limped and hobbled our way back to the coach, we did it with the warm glow that not one of us could have done anything more than we had done. We shared a few pints on the way home, in a coach unrecognisable from the one in which we arrived. Everyone was sat together, all having a laugh, all members of a team beaten but unbroken.

I received a text message this morning from a friend asking if I was walking proud or defeated. I replied “Both.”


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