If you’re a fan of Guinness World Records advertising campaigns, you’ll remember this simple but very effective poster from the early 1970s: A beautiful picture of an almost-stable pint with a message. ‘Familiarity increases content.’
t was widely covered, including being plastered on the Fairview Bridge in Dublin, seen every day by the thousands of motorists in the frenzy of traffic that defined those days. We’ll admit to long and hard deliberation before the coin dropped – courtesy of a wiser elder placing said coin in the slot.
“It is not the content – like the content of a book – it deceivesTent. As in happiness. ”
It was, of course, a variation on a familiar proverb that generated contempt, but we hadn’t heard it either. Years later, when Ireland burst onto the scene, winning its third Triple Crown in four seasons under Eddie O’Sullivan, we assessed exactly how that tournament played out.
The first of those Three Crowns was greeted with widespread rejoicing. No different than the 1985 boys – the previous team that secured this particular title – O’Sullivan’s side played rugby well, none better than at Twickenham before world champions, England.
But by 2007 it was stale beer. We ordered a championship and you are serving us another Triple Crown? It is not helped by the case where the last position was confirmed. On the final day of competition in Rome, Ireland fixed France to chase the score against Scotland. As time ran out, a man named Elvis claimed he hadn’t left the building and scored in the corner. TMO has to agree that it sounds like a hit. That’s how Elvis Vermeulen, 10 caps and only one attempt, got into the quiz book.
Watch in their Rome hotel, O’Sullivan’s Ireland team has been gutted. A night on the town to celebrate its first championship in 22 years becomes a spin on the injustices of life. Yes, it was another Triple Crown but in each of those seasons, 2004, 2006 and 2007, it was France that won the Championship.
Never mind, shall we arrange it at the World Cup? Eh, 2007 World Cup in France? No, we won’t. Instead, it turned out to be a cruel case that claimed Ireland had so much scar tissue in the league that they would have struggled to move forward in any direction.
The truth is we had pretty much taken the Triple Crown out of our minds until Johnny Sexton brought it up after Italy was destroyed last month. With England and Scotland still on the dance-card, he says Triple Crown is the tune to get them in the mood.
Sexton is the essence of a frenetic athlete. Not only does this motivate him to win for the team, but if there’s a ‘title’ attached to anything he wants to win more than his peers. In other words, Ronan O’Gara. The man Sexton had to remove from the international picture has four Triple Crowns on his CV, something Sexton couldn’t match before leaving rugby altogether at next year’s World Cup.
Still, he’s got him in the Lions Test matches and will be chasing a second Triple Crown like it’s the last train home. With that set in Scotland on Saturday, Sexton will have vivid memories of wiping his eyes in Croke Park, back in 2010.
Scotland came in as commoner that day, unappreciated and disrespected in the media – to be fair, they were fighting Italy at the time to keep their place. top table. They were undefeated when they arrived in Dublin, after losing to Italy in Rome.
Ireland won at Twickenham and beat Wales at home. The Triple Crown might not seem like the most valuable consolation prize but when Dan Parks took it away at the last minute with a handball penalty, it suddenly felt like a well-deserved silver plate on the fridge. It was a more serious theft.
Even if Parks miss, Ireland will have to get the ball back after a restart and force them to take at least one penalty with seconds left. With O’Gara showing up shortly after the game, he would have imagined his own chances, but there was no time for that.
Parks’ penalty is being broadcast this week. Then, as now, the Ireland vs Scotland match was the meat in a sandwich sold under the name Super Saturday. The Irishman could barely leave the scene as France played England in Paris, chasing a Grand Slam.
The strange thing is not that they sorted it, but that they didn’t – despite the huge resources – manage to repeat the trick. With one more day to recover from last weekend and the form that will propel them towards their own World Cup next year, you would expect it to be larger than the two-point gap that separated them from England last year. 2010.
For Ireland, history has taught them that the only thing they can think out loud is what is right in front of them. Beating Scotland comes with a prize. Had it been later on a Saturday night then it had ended in a Championship, it would have been a much better night. Otherwise we’re talking a pretty picture of a pint that isn’t very stable. It was unfamiliar, as it happened, and there was no reason to be contemptuous.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/six-nations/delight-in-2004-stale-beer-in-2007-but-what-would-a-triple-crown-mean-in-2022-41458892.html Brendan Fanning: Delight in 2004, stale beer in 2007 – but what will the Triple Crown mean in 2022?