Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: Rugby

Good news, captain

Dear reader.

Back to work. I am still in Montreal: this city has treated me very well over the last three weeks. In fact I have a treasure throve of experiences to share with you. Some Most of these stories will probably be insignificant to you; others will be obvious; and a few, I hope, will turn out to be enjoyable. But! For once on the blog, this post is not going to be about me. And this is because I am still very much in the flow; so I will wait and write about the last few weeks when I will reach a certain degree of stillness. Aside the whole egotistic part about my experiences, there are also a few very serious topics I would like to write about and they deserve to be treated with some attention. I will do that in due time.

In the meanwhile, my reader, I wanted to urge you to make good use of your precious spare time. There are plenty of sports events that deserve to be followed. Yesterday’s stage of the Vuelta a España was thrilling. On Wednesday there will be a time trial and the following days the decisive stages on the mountains. This year’s Vuelta is starting to look like it could be one of the closest finishes in recent history with three riders – Catalan Purito Rodriguez, Sardinian Fabio Aru, and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin – very close to each other. No big surprise, I am supporting Fabio Aru. He is humble, he is funny, and he is stubborn – on Monday’s last climb he looked like he was going to crack down every moment and yet he held on, and on, and on, and when Purito Rodriguez attacked him on the final meters he gasped, and sprinted, and almost managed to reach back.

 

The Vuelta is going to be an exciting race to watch, probably as exciting as the US Open Tennis in New York. Thus far I enjoyed siding for Feliciano Lopez – although there is a reasonably great chance he will be kicked out of the tournament tonight. Here again, no matters who wins it is going to be fun.

 

 

And basketball! I am not a fan of this sport at all, but the European Basketball Championship is a somehow different event and Italy, for once, has a chance of doing reasonably well. So we shall see. On another discipline, you can rest assured the Italian representative will perform disastrously at the Rugby World Cup that is set to start in about a week; but that is also going to be a tournament to follow. Speaking of Italy, in this year’s Moto GP season Valentino Rossi – who won his last title in in 2009 – has been magic. This guy has an incredibly positive attitude about things and is always fun to listen to.

May your September be as exciting as the Vuelta, as skillful as the US Open, as hopeful as the EuroBasket, as solemn as the Rugby World Cup, and as old-school as the Moto GP.

A glorious week

So a couple of weeks ago I went skiing on the Dolomites with Giallu, Martin, and Thomas; and then, right afterwards, we traveled down to Rome to watch the disastrous rugby match between Italy and France.

Skiing was absolutely perfect and, as I wrote elsewhere, May the god of the skiers be eternally blessed for these glorious days up in the mountains where I used to come as a kid with my parents and I am now sharing with some of the finest friends I have met along the way. The trip to Rome was pretty messy, although it was good to be in eternal city and meet Sara, Paolo, Andrea and help Pierre moving back to Rome. At the end of the day I will remember this hectic March week with enormous gratitude for the weather, the mountains, the sport and, most importantly, for my humble friends whom I have met in very different occasions and yet they all fit together so grandly.

Because we are all very narcissistic and occasionally lazy, we took a lot of pictures and even a couple of videos (one and two) when we were on the mountains. But then in Rome it was rainy and crappy and we only took a few shots. I am putting everything online now to satisfy both my ego and my mother: the latter has been asking for some documentary evidence for the last few days, the former will gladly provide it now.

Murrayfield and Croke Park

After a thrilling finale Italy today beat Scotland 22-19 to return to the victory in the Six Nations after a streak of seven match – last win was March 16 2013 against Ireland, 22-15. It was an exceptional ending with Italy pushing hard for the try and getting it done a few seconds to the end. There are quite a few things I will remember: the stubborn attacks by the Italian side when everything seemed lost, our captain crying on the grass after the try, the colorful play-by-play of the duo Munari – Raimondi (thank you Dmax for showing the matches free to air), and the gentlemanly behavior of the Scottish captain Greig Laidlaw.

 

This is our second victory in Murrayfield against Scotland. The other time was 2007 and I still remember that match: it ended 17-37 and Italy scored three tries in the first six minutes in what might well go down as the most devastating start of a match the tournament ever recorded. It was delightful. And it was also the first away victory ever for the Italian crew since they were admitted in the Six Nations – previously Five Nations – in 2000. It was February 25, 2007.

The same day another match was played in Dublin. Ireland-England was a historically important game because it was the first time rugby was played in Dublin’s biggest stadium since 1920. Croke Park had become worldwide famous in November 21 1920 when the Black and Tans of the Royal Irish Constabulary, supported by members of the British Auxiliary Division, opened fire on the crowd at a Gaelic football, killing fourteen civilians. Football and rugby were henceforth banished from Croke Park, as well as English flags and symbols. The ban was finally lifted in 2007 and the authorities bravely allowed the match against England to be played. So on February 25 a hugely emotionally charged match was played. There were legitimate fears of violence and riots on the bleachers. But the Irish supporters surprised many by respectfully observing the British national anthem, God Save The Queen. That day, the Irish team surprised even more by beating bookmarks-favorite England 43-13 in what was a record number of points taken in a single match in the history of English rugby.

Tipi romantici

The 2015 RBS Six Nations begins tomorrow with Wales v England, Italy v Ireland, France v Scotland. There are three short clips worth watching to get in the mood for rugby.

 

 

Cymru am byth

What a day it was.

Wales

Italy played a decent Six Nations this year, but for me this weekend’s spotlight is not on our match against Ireland.

Wales – England at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, will be a straight shootout. If England wins, they will be the champions with their first grand slam of the decade. Should they lose by seven points or more, on the other hand, they would face returning home with a mere second point and let Wales win the tournament. You would hardly call this a classic Six Nations season, but this final duel promises to be fascinating.

Six nations

Today the six nations tournament will begin. I would like to watch the first matches, as it is a tradition since I met Alvise. But I will be skiing in what seem to be ideal weather conditions.

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