Thursday, September 06, 2007

Come on Los Pumas!

Tomorrow evening, all being well, I shall settle in front of the television to support Argentina against France in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup.

It’s not that I have any Argentine blood or personal connections, nor even a sense of liberal guilt over the Falklands. It’s not that Los Pumas play a particularly attractive brand of rugby – the sight of their famous rolling maul has been likened to watching a tractor in low gear. No, I shall be cheering Argentina purely because they are the underdogs.

I am not sure whether it is nature or nurture but I seem fated to take support for the underdog a little beyond the ordinary. This applies to all my main interests in life: sport, books, music and politics alike. Sometimes this is just a matter of fate, sometimes deliberate choice. I am half-Scottish and half-English, but have always been a Scotland supporter – influenced by my Scottish father and growing up in Scotland. The other teams I support - Coventry City, Watford, Montrose and Dundee at football, Coventry and London Scottish at rugby are all perpetual underdogs, although the latter two were once upon a time top dogs.

The problem with the Rugby World Cup, compared with its soccer equivalent is that too many games are a foregone conclusion – the top dog almost always prevails, usually with a comfortable margin of victory. The advent of professionalism has reinforced this. Nonetheless, Argentina, are the one team outside rugby’s eight ‘founder nations’ to put together a team that can challenge the best. For their troubles, they have not been allowed to join either of the two major annual international tournaments – the Tri-Nations and the Six Nations – and have got another rotten draw in the World Cup. Rugby needs to expand its horizons beyond the traditional nations. Argentina beating France tomorrow evening would be a good start.


pato said...

thanks a lot for coment.
my name is raul

Anonymous said...

Do you have a Crystal ball? I bet you were rejoicing watching France and their frustrated attempts to go through the Argentine defence...Argentina might not have the most qualified team but they've got "guts", pride in their country and a lot of heart for the love of Rugby. I think that's what really made the difference in this game. I'm very proud of Los Pumas and I hope they can make it to the final. It would be interesting to see them play England in the final given their long lived rivalry (in soccer and Las Malvinas).

Chechi from Perth, Western Australia

Anonymous said...

Vamos Pumas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yo te daré,
Te daré una cosa,

Yo te daré,
Una cosa que empieza con P!

¡¡ P U M A S !!

Anonymous said...

The argentinian dreams of rugby just are beginning. We are new in this sport...but our hearts are really PUMAS and very proud of our gold embassadors. For ever with your energy and your great dream:

Anonymous said...