God, the team we played at indoor soccer this week must have been using the English Rugby Team
as their role models. They were out to maim us. First minute in, I got a pass down the wall from Louise, planted my foot to let the ball go past so the girl coming at me from behind wouldn't get a shot at it, and then next thing I know my supporting leg is kicked out from under me, and I get shouldered into the wall. Ouch. She's all 'sorry about that' when I get up to take the free kick, but 'sorry' said in a 'take-that-you-slag' sort of way. Bitch.
And it was like that the whole game
. Last time we played this team I was away and we got beaten (you can make any assumptions you like there), so the rest of my team were keen to make amends, and we were up 2-1 after 5 minutes or so. At that point our opponents went into killer overdrive, and Louise, whose a fairly solid specimen of the female species, got totally taken out in a terrible tackle (elbows into the back of the head, knees into the ass) by their most belligerent (and that was saying something) player. Louise clattered into the wall, and then leapt up, actually shaping to take a swing at the offender! Lou! The most mild-mannered teacher of hearing-impaired children you'd ever meet! The ref stepped in to calm things down, but failed to send off the tackler, which meant the rest of them thought it was open day for any old piece of niggly illegal play they could conceive of. Which was plenty.
My shins were shattered by the end of the game, and poor old Louise and Tamara were on the end of a continuous stream of some nasty verbal slagging. Thanks to some inspired play from Janey (who wasn't taking any shit from anyone, as she rarely does), we got a good buffer up of about 3 goals, after which we stopped going for the 50/50 balls so hard, and just frustrated them into stupid play that netted us a couple more goals on fast breaks. We ended up winning 8-2. Hooray! A sweeter victory hasn't been had for a long while.
Nearly as nice, although the sheen was taken off it by the Simon Shaw sending off, was the All Blacks win over the 'World Champions' England in the weekend. If you missed it, fear not as plenty has been written about the game
. My favourite (non-try-scoring) moment was the actual sending off of Shaw - the look of total disgust on Lawrence Dallaglio's face was priceless, but nearly as good was Tana Umaga, who was obviously as delighted as Dallaglio was disgusted. Tana gave it the big 'hooooo boy, off!' (by the looks of it), and that was pretty much the end of the game as a contest. Dallaglio spent the rest of the game whinging about every decision that went against them (despite the fact the All Blacks got hammered in the penalty count), and generally doing his best to reinforce the English rugby-boy stereotype of being a big strong and talented player who feels the need to cheat and whine incessantly. And he's the captain! Lead by example man! Oh, I suppose he did.
And how is it that the All Black backs are so lovely (Dan, Tana, Doug, Carlos, Mils -- all lovely examples of masculinity), and the English backs (with the notable exception of Ben Cohen
actually) are, um, not? Do men not use moisturiser in England or something?