There’s a realistic chance that after this weekend we’ll have two more World Champions from this country; the England rugby team of course and Lewis Hamilton representing the UK in the F1 Championship. All they have to do respectively is a) beat the team who beat them 36-0 in the pool stage and absolutely mullahed them in two tests before the RWC and b) just beat the two best drivers in the world with more experience than himself. Easy.
Actually it’s never easy. Ask the England football team who with 20 minutes to go on Wednesday night were through to the final stages of the Euro 2008 Championships. Then they conceded two scrappy goals and now their victors Russia are the favourites to go through at England’s expense. The England rugby team were playing embarrassingly bad rugby up until 3 matches ago. In fact they’ve been crap for 4 years. Suddenly the form returned, the will is there, the passion is definitely there and now destiny beckons against probably the most physical, best-performing and most well-balanced team in the tournament. Have they one more huge game in them? Argentina couldn’t sustain it but that’s understandable given their thin resources. But can Wilko, Catt, Vickery, Sheridan, Reagan, Corry, Robinson et al drag something from within themselves to achieve a sporting victory of heroic proportions? I don’t know. If SA get a storming start then I think it might be game over quickly. But if we can keep Habana frustrated, pummel their front row but give nothing away in terms of penalties, and when he’s got the ball in hand, terrorise pretty Percy Montgomery like he’s never been frightened before, and, keep within 5 points of SA with 20 minutes to go….well, then I think we might just tw*t them. For any Americans reading; it’s not a technical term.
As for Lewis who knows how this incredible Championship is going to pan out. It’s been the best season for years and years with 3 drivers in the running to take the title; Hamilton with a 4 point lead over his team mate and now bitter rival Alonso and ice-man Raikkonen a further 3 points back. Logic says Hamilton can pull off an incredible result in his rookie season but, echoing the England football team’s performance on Wednesday, he and his management team were tactically naive in the last race and blew the chance to put it beyond reach. So now the pressure’s on and today the team appear to have made a major cock-up by using two sets of tyres in first practice. This is against the rules and now the team faces a steward’s enquiry which could see Hamilton relegated on the grid. How on earth does that happen? So there could be more twists and turns in this crazy season yet.
Whatever happens if you’re an English (British?) sports fan it’s a hell of a week-end in prospect. Ask me now and I’d take a narrow England win at the rugby and podium spot for Hamilton and a moral victory but a 2nd place in the World Championship. I’d love the two of them to do it but Lewis has the potential for 5 titles if he has a mind to do it, whereas we are talking the stuff of legends with the rugby boys – simply unrepeatable, unmatchable and unbelievable.
Come on fellas you can do it.