Will the Red Forces out-muscle the Blue Forces?

by Alan on January 31, 2014

in Rugby, Wales

Map of Europe, showing NATO countries coloured...

Map of Europe, showing NATO countries coloured blue and Warsaw Pact countries coloured red. The map post-dates Albania’s withdrawal from the Pact. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Blue Forces were always the good guys in the Military wargames that we used to play all those years ago on the Central Front of Europe. Russia – or the Warsaw Pact – had claimed bragging rites as the Red Forces and all that colour coding made great sense.

In summary: Blue equals good, Red equals Bad and Green was for the unpires.

Tomorrow though the Red Forces will be from Wales as they take on the might of the Azzurri – the Blue Forces from Italy. And coincidentally the Green forces will be the Irish referee, John Lacey.

But it‘s a worrying time for passionate Wales supporters: we all know that we ought to win, we’re not suffering too badly from injuries and there is a comforting familiarity with the team. Gatland is at the helm and Sam has signed a fortune away to show his commitment to the cause. What can possibly go wrong?

Focus – that’s what can go wrong. This week there has been too much press chatter by members of the Welsh squad to convince me that they are totally focused. Whilst it must be hard at the moment to be a professional player in Wales when the future is in such turmoil, the need for focus ought to be absolute. I listened to Warren Gatland speak at a dinner a few weeks ago when he said that he planned to use “the current situation” to get the squad to circle the wagons, to make them look inward and focus, to make them tighter. I fear that hasn’t happened and as a result am concerned that we may well slip up.

I hope I’m wrong. Only time will tell.

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