Six Nations Donkey Awards.
After the heroic shambling of Dan Parks yesterday, we decided that those who serve to contribute the very worst to this year’s tournament are in need of their own special recognitions, and after a very interesting first weekend of the Six Nations, we have some early front runners in the Donkey Award stakes.
No.1. The Salt Shaker.
Bradley Davies is due a new nickname after his Dublin antics, as surely the only rational thought that ran through his head was that the unfortunate Irish man who he had turned upside down was full of some old salt that was just refusing to come out. Davies could well have lost Wales the game against Ireland all on his own with his rash and reckless behaviour, and, as I’m sure all Irish fans would agree, were there to be any justice in rugby, a red card would have been shown. In the end, Davies only earned himself a yellow card, but for stupidity alone he takes home a full five donkeys after round 1.
Donkey score: 5
No.2. The Kicking Queen.
Dan Parks was covered in detail enough yesterday, with his disastrous charged down kick, which handed England an unlikely victory in Scotland. The calls came from every corner for Parks to go after he single handedly surrendered the Calcutta Cup, and it would take a selection miracle for him to start against Wales next week.
Donkey score: 3
No.3. The Leg Lifter from Maghaberry.
Stephen Ferris may be seen as unlucky in giving away the penalty that ultimately served Ireland with their defeat, and few would begrudge him a moan or two that a yellow card at least was undeserved. However, after replay upon replay, Ferris may well have to concede that if he has a foot in his hand at that sort of height, that a penalty blast is probably going to come shortly after. After a strong performance, a degree of donkeyness took the shine off the backrowers efforts.
Donkey score: 2.5
No.4. A lesson never learnt.
Andy Robinson must surely have got the message by now no? Dan Parks is a very, very bad rugby player. Robinson has the evidence in front of him, and has only been able to add to the ‘Parks Calamity’ folder since he began his reign in charge of Scotland, yet he still persists with the man who seems intent on destroying the ambition of any team he plays for. For simply selecting Parks once again, Robinson earns himself a donkey.
Donkey score: 1
No.5. The colour of cards.
Wayne Barnes was somewhat left in limbo by his touchjudge, but ultimately the buck stops with the man in the middle. Advised that Bradley Davies had lifted, and dropped a player from a height on to his head, and off the ball to boot, Barnes was then persuaded that a yellow card would suffice. Everyone wearing green, and in the minutes following the games conclusion, most wearing red (including the Welsh coach) were all agreed that Davies should have left the game for good. Barnes and his assistance though seemed to be the only ones in the northern hemisphere to disagree. With IRB directives being about as direct as a pigeon in a washing machine, and linesmen offering poor advice, it’s hard to be too critical of Barnes, but he is at least worthy of a single donkey for his light touch.
Donkey score: 1