With all eyes on Wales this morning, the whole of the UK were willing the team on in this, their most important game for 24 years. The game had it all, a very close scoreline (9-8), a dramatic early sending off and an exciting game for the spectators
There was the usual flurry of comments on the message boards and social media channels when the referee red-carded the Welsh captain, Sam Warburton. It was a hugely controversial decision from referee Alain Rolland. Warburton picked Clerc up and took him over the horizontal, and he failed to return him safely to the ground. But he did not drive him into the turf and it looked like a yellow card to me. Austin Healy on Twitter called it a “most ridiculous decision” but this was soon followed by a tweet from @misterhutt saying “To all of you complaining: what’s the point in having rules if they are not enforced? How’d u feel if Warburton was the victim here?”
The Welsh boys can however hold their heads up high. To play like they did for 70 minutes with 14 men was a tremendous achievement and they were within a hair’s breadth of winning the game on a couple of occasions … but it was not meant to be. They were the better team for most of the game, and had any one of three penalties, one conversion or two drop-goals found their way between the sticks, they would have reached their first ever World Cup final. Instead it is France who go through to face the winners of Sunday’s game between New Zealand and Australia.