The Six Nations Progresseth: not Eddie Butler’s guide to surviving Week Three drink by drink

"Howley used the cryo-chambers to store his Absolut? That explains a lot."

“Howley used the cryo-chambers to store his Absolut? That explains a lot.”

Traditionally, Week Three of the Six Nations is defining; leaders step forth from the crucible of heated battle, reputations are forged or broken. A pattern is woven, six colours vying for attention, drawing the eye. But who will provide the masterpieces, who the poor forgeries of rugby’s greatest tapestry?

Italy, riding high on a wave of confidence following the downing of Les Bleus in Rome, were shot down in flames by a resurgent Scotland, with Hogg, Scott and Visser showing a tantalising taste of what may lie ahead for flocculent Scott Johnson’s charges. Italy, outfought and outthought, return to Rome looking for home comforts, something that may be difficult if Sergio Parisse’s grande bocca costs gli Azzurri il loro Capofile*.

L'arbitro mi ha chiamato una checca! Cosa avrei dovuto fare?

“L’arbitro mi ha chiamato una checca! Cosa avrei dovuto fare?”

France and Wales found themselves at a metaphorical decussation last week. For Cymru, it was a case of choosing an apparently forgotten direction; George North’s beautifully taken try closed out a doughty victory for Howley’s Wyverns who will go to Rome now with renewed spirit. Phillipe Saint-André, having somehow removed France’s Esprit de Clocher in Paris, now travels to rugby HQ in the hope that the meaty fare guaranteed by Les Rosbifs will contain more than a little nag.

burgerNothing more than a thoroughbred performance will satisfy La Patrie.

England, the only unbeaten team left in the tournament, ground out a fine win in Dublin, signalling a transition from maybes to likelys. Welcoming their old foe in fine fettle, they will be satisfied with nothing less than a reenactment of 1346’s Battle of Crecy.

Ireland, on the other hand, have gone from maybes to maybe nots, travelling to Edinburgh beaten and bruised, hoping that the back-row nous showed in Dublin will be enough. The Scots may beg to differ on that point.

Alfie differs on the Absolut measures

Alfie begs to differ on the Absolut measures

So once more unto the breach, dear friends. Here are my tips and tipples for the tournament-defining third week.

Saturday 23rd February 2013

Italy v Wales  Stadio Olimpico  14:30

You’ll want to get into the beers early on Saturday so I heartily recommend several Nastro Azzuri, dotted at half time by some Grappa. You will then need to round out the half time break with a Welsh whisky, possibly Penderyn Madeira, before assaulting the second half with Tudor Brewery’s Sugarloaf. Six or seven will do.

romanholidayA Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn Roman Holiday this may not be for the Wyverns but their Last Tango In Paris suggests they should close this one out by 3.

butterEngland v France  Twickers  17:00

Saturday evening at HQ calls for nothing less than ales and champagne, champagne and ales. Jerry tells me never to mix the grain with the grape but what does he know?

guscott_280x390_981155aThe jumped-up scarf salesman has one Appletini and he’s telling anyone who’ll listen about the drop goal in Durban that made him loved the world over. Prince of Centres, my arse. England to march remorselessly forward but not without a Gallic scare. Champagne glasses downed in favour of many, many pints of Abbot Ale, a beer as old as the Domesday Book and twice as fun.

Sunday 24th February 2013

Scotland v Ireland  Murrayfield  14:00

The Celtic brethren go at it again, and, by starting with a drink loved in both countries, Buckfast, you’ll be guaranteed to get your Sunday off to a colourful start. Then it’s a whistle-stop tour around the Western Isles with nods towards Tobermory, Talisker and Abhainn Dearg, before crossing the water to pop into Bushmill’s for a pint or two of 21 year single malt. You may need a friend to help you home. Likewise Ronan O’Gara, who may discover that, after years of being the dagger to the heart of teams with his kicking, you do not bring a knife to a gunfight.

"Feck! Either I'm perspiring where I didn't know I had sweat glands or the bag's sprung a leak!"

“Feck! Either I’m perspiring where I didn’t know I had sweat glands or the bag’s sprung a leak!”

Scotland to add to the clamour for a Kidney transplant in Ireland.

Then, thankfully for the taste buds and liver, a two-week break.

I myself foresee tremors.

* transcribed by Droptheclaw in advance of Sergio’s judiciary hearing from jottings found on discarded colostomy bag packaging

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515 Responses to The Six Nations Progresseth: not Eddie Butler’s guide to surviving Week Three drink by drink

  1. killerline says:

    @ticht

    That’s difficult one. I exchanged all long-standing mates for more RAM so no such dilemma.

    Be immense if you could come obviously…

  2. tichtheid says:

    I do have an alternative solution – we all turn up as Ulster supporters for the HC 1/4 against the Borg at Twickers, April the 6th.

  3. killerline says:

    @UD why aren’t you coming again?

    Surely not because we tease you about having top-level blog-killing ability?

  4. firstdifference says:

    @ ticht

    Tough choice. It would be fun to see what everyone is like in person. The only thing preventing me from going is distance and the fact that I don’t want to reveal that I am actually a middle aged woman from Wisconsin.

    Damn, it slipped out.

    So, now just distance.

  5. killerline says:

    @FD

    you’re difficult to include.

    We’ll manage it one day.

  6. firstdifference says:

    you’re difficult to include.

    I will console myself with the idea of a free blog on the 16th, I will throw a party. You lot will come back to an almighty mess.

  7. killerline says:

    @ticht

    Nice idea. Except the Ulster supporters part. Aren’t they Milne’s band of thugs?

    Would take organising, tickets, money. The beauty of the 16th is that none of that’s necessary.

  8. meadesian says:

    My laptop finally died, so I’ve spent the evening re-animating a 7 year old XP desktop. Service packs 2 & 3 installed. Now I just need to install a wifi adapter, and upgrade the wait for it 256meg of RAM. My toaster’s got more RAM than that.

    Ticht – come and join us. Longstanding mates will remain that. This is probably a once in a lifetime event.

  9. tichtheid says:

    The other thing about the guys I’d be meeting up with is that they went out of their way to get me a ticket for the Eng/Sco game a couple of weeks ago, then they decided that I was their guest for some fucking reason (them all being English bastards) and wouldn’t let me buy a beer, well I was allowed to shout one or two rounds out of a ludicrous amount.

    I feel that I should take the six of them to my local and put a wad behind the bar for the final day.

  10. killerline says:

    Exactly ticht.
    Come meet such great fellows as Meades and RaceOfStalwarts who’ve opted for a different train to me on purpose.

    After promises of train breakfast too.

  11. Underdog says:

    Killer – are you using the royal ‘we’ there? No I’m not coming because I don’t have any money. I’m currently wageslaving to try and rectify this, which is why I’m not posting during the day (if you can read this and not hear violins playing, you have a heart of stone).

  12. tichtheid says:

    “(if you can read this and not hear violins playing, you have a heart of stone).”

    Killer probably has Gorgoroth playing as he reads that.

  13. meadesian says:

    Killer, blame lies entirely with RaceofShitTimetabling. He was tasked with sorting the travel, me with the accommodation.

  14. killerline says:

    @Meades it’s probably for the best. RoS seemed intent on champagne.

    If there’s one thing that will kill me off like I’m a blog under UD’s watchful eye it’s champagne.

  15. killerline says:

    @UD

    ‘Tis a shame man but can’t be helped. You’ll make the next one.

    If any of us live through this one.

  16. meadesian says:

    Champagne? How very rakish.

    I knew there was a reason I liked the fellow.

  17. Underdog says:

    It’s better this way. You lot will build such good bonhomie and atmosphere through this piss-up… Ruining that will be even more satisfying for me.

  18. killerline says:

    @UD that’s the spirit!

    Everyone wins.

  19. firstdifference says:

    If any of us live through this one.

    This is getting ominous. Meades say it will be “once in a lifetime”, you saying that. What do you two have planned?

  20. killerline says:

    @FD

    nah Meades is just looking forward to a rugby piss-up.

    I don’t out of the house much.

  21. firstdifference says:

    Almost there. You have to keep the blog alive for 5 more minutes UD.

  22. tichtheid says:

    Now that I’ve watched Gorgoroth on youtube, many of my “recommendations” are of that ilk.

    How many Glen Campbell and Loretta Lynn videos will it take to sort this?

  23. killerline says:

    @ticht at no point did I tell you to listen to Gorgoroth. I must confess I’m not familiar with them myself….you’re pushing them on me…

  24. firstdifference says:

    Ok, I’m out of here. I will metaphorically see you all Saturday. Try not to let the Fear get to you, except for you Killer, I will have your new shiny Jamie Heaslip gravatar ready for when I win my bet.

  25. killerline says:

    @FD

    You’re an absolute scoundrel.

  26. avsfan says:

    So, what have I missed since 5:00pm?

  27. avsfan says:

    Nevermind.

  28. Just me getting ready for the Hielanders opening match’ preparing dinner (salmon lightly poached in milk, potato chunks oven-cooked in a little clarified butter, beans & carrots firm but not crunchy and a glass – or more – of sauvignon blanc, although I have a half-litre of Hop Wired IPA to scoff while I’m in the kitchen).
    It’s a lovely warm evening here in Waitakere, hardly a breath of wind and the new 50″ Samsung tv (they offered it as a replacement for the 44″ one that dropped a bundle after 3 years – we said ‘yes’) is ready to offer up a glorious view of the Forsyth Barr stadium in Dunedin where we face up to last year’s Super15 winners the Chiefs.

    Apart from that – nothing doing!

  29. Chekhovian says:

    I have been up since 4.30am writing a covering letter for a CV. I’m quite tired.

  30. tichtheid says:

    C’mon the Heilanders

  31. killerline says:

    @Cat got some FEAR going on?

    Bit of a shite game for England: if we put France away they’re just crazy.
    Lose and our wheels have come off…..

  32. therealbennyblanco says:

    Absolutely cracking game so far between the Highlanders and the Chiefs.

  33. tompirracas says:

    @killer

    I don’t think that if England lose this one, we’ll be saying the wheels have come off. It’s if you lose this one and the Italy game back-to-back, that we’ll be of that mind.

    Don’t worry about it anyway. It’s just 23 young men representing a construct. You and I have little or no effect over it.

    Chiefs almost got what would have been a wonderful try but Sam Cane fucks it up. 16-7 to the Chiefs.

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