Ryan Jones

Going walkabout in Cardiff (11)

Swansea - I finally got the chance of some first-hand World Cup action on Saturday as the France 2007 carnival, oddly enough, rolled its way into Cardiff.

I decided to indulge myself, too, by getting right into the heart of the city streets and sucking up a bit of the atmosphere.

When you’re involved as a player you get very little exposure to the buzz of a match day afternoon around and about the stadium where, on top of the 70,000 or so ticket holders, countless more enjoy the day in the capital’s numerous hostelries.

Ironically enough, after enjoying a fine pre-match lunch I joined some friends to watch the match - where else, but in an Australian bar!

You wouldn’t have known it, though, as the place was swathed in red and white and the walls echoed the familiar sounds of hymns and arias.

In fact, the depth of feeling was so strong in that room that, during the anthem, I don’t think the shiver that went down the back of my neck would have been any greater had I been stood alongside the boys on the Millennium Stadium turf - the place was electric.

It is fair to say, however, that by half-time the electricity had waned a bit after a quite ruthless first-half display from the Australians and a 25-3 deficit seemed quite insurmountable, especially seeing as we’d already lost two key players to injury.

The team were having none of my pessimism, though, and came out for the second-half with a renewed vigour and purpose.

For a period it looked as if they could mount a challenge on the lead.

The pub certainly thought so and got right behind their men, but ultimately Chris Latham’s somewhat fortunate score drove the nails into the coffin and it wasn’t to be.

The Australians were doubtless the better side on the day, and for us to reach the level they played at in that opening period we need to instil some confidence in ourselves pretty quickly.

We have two perfect opportunites to come.

I think level-par for us in this tournament was always going to be the quarter-finals and that is still the case. We’ve got two matches to win to get there.

Japan and Fiji are games we should expect to win if we utilise the talent that we have got.

The challenge for us is to come out of those games - most importantly with two Ws in the result column, but, secondly, having built on the second-half performance against Australia by playing astutely and fluidly, scoring tries, and dominating for long periods.

If we can achieve that, with the experience of the Australia match already under our belts we’ll be in good shape to have a tilt at South Africa in the last eight.

NB: Ryan Jones was seen leaving the Walkabout bar in Cardiff shortly after the final whistle had sounded at the Wales v Australia match on Saturday.

Close friends confirmed that not a drop of alcohol had passed his lips.

Although the traffic out of Cardiff was bad he was home in time for beans-on-toast in front of the X Factor, which he enjoyed very much.

Ryan Jones plays number eight for Wales but misses the World Cup through injury.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 03:38 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Shelly wrote:

Beans on toast in front of the X-Factor?? I don't believe you for a second Ryan!!

  • 2.
  • At 04:11 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • nibb wrote:

Whats the problem!

Have a few lagers Ryan for XXXX sake!

  • 3.
  • At 04:40 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Chrissy wrote:

DOUGHNUT BOY!! Were you making the Beans?? Your lowest of the low!

  • 4.
  • At 04:46 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Rob Taylor wrote:

I had a ticket for the game on Saturday but the Walkabout is definitely the place to watch the rest of the games in, good atmos., okay beer and the largest screen I think I've ever seen outside of the multiplex.

By the time I got in there on Saturday it was crammed floor to ceiling with Aussies rightfully celebrating their victory and our boys helping them out with the singing.

That's the great thing I find about supporting Wales, we're gracious in victory and harmonious in defeat!

  • 5.
  • At 05:30 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Evan wrote:

There's nothing better than being in Cardiff on matchday - the atmosphere is always electric and the people are fantastic. Standing on Westgate Street outside The Boudoir mixing with the Aussie fans was something that can only happen in rugby circles. Even though we lost (I'm saying nothing...), the day was still enjoyable. From the sounds of it, Ryan did too (although I'm a bit skeptical about the X Factor line though....).

  • 6.
  • At 05:58 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Otto wrote:

Close friends confirmed that not a drop of alcohol had passed his lips Is that the same 'close friends' who also said he refused to watch Canada-Fiji 'cos he had to go to Sunday school? You sure you are Welsh Ryan mate? I have it on good authority (Dirty Dan from Aberfan) who saw and heard Ryan singing Waltzing Matilda carrying a stuffed Wallaby at half-time!!

  • 7.
  • At 02:36 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Legga wrote:

Ryan, who was that short little fat lad with long hair stood next to you in Walkabout on Saturday with vomit on his shirt? Everyone seemed to be calling him Bazwaldo but he looked more like Dafydd from Little Britain to me.

  • 8.
  • At 09:01 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Alan wrote:

Just like to wish the Welsh luck in the compo. Having watched most of the games so far the welsh have a fantastic set of players with a high skill levels. IMO the pack just need to be more streetwise and in the opposition faces, putting pressure on the opposition and the opportunities will come.

As an Irish supporter the recent matches with wales I feel the more experienced Irish got them through the games. But there has been a complete negative feeling and pressure on their shoulders at momment
and it;s hard to see them getting out of it.

What the Welsh and Irish need to do is to play high tempo rugby, don't force the play and most of all really enjoy it. Enjoyment can bring out magic in players & teams and belief and winning starts to happen.

Best of luck the cup is half full

  • 9.
  • At 09:55 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • john Williams wrote:

Can someone please tell Gareth Jenkins to stop BLEATING about the Press?
The man has a job to do and he should be getting on with it instead of reading his bad press.
His job is hard enough I should imagine especially when he has let Henson go. There HAS to be a true reason why
he his not there. I just don't believe the INJURY story.
There are many rumours flying around about
"the Australia trip "
Anyway good luck to Wales - they will need it. Some nice fluid rugby would be nice instead of stupid kicks into no man's land.

  • 10.
  • At 04:01 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • keith wrote:

#7 Dafydd from Little Britain read Adam Jones with hair and a beard.

  • 11.
  • At 12:49 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • The Wolf wrote:

Ryan- what's really going on? Go on, give us the truth. Loads of rumours about the summer Oz tour, rifts in the camp, poor standard of training, lack of leadership, cliques in the squad.
Go on, tell me, I promise I won't say anything.

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