Fiji held to shock draw
November 22, 2010
Wales captain Ryan Jones reflects on his side's hard-earned draw © Getty Images
Fiji, currently tenth in the IRB world rankings, were held to a shock 16-16 draw in Cardiff by the work team of an insurance company.
The Pacific Islanders had originally been due to face the might of the red dragon of Wales at the Millennium Stadium as part of the autumn international series. However, for reasons still not clear at press time, an utterly unknown team decked out in the blue, red and white of Admiral Insurance emerged from the home team dressing room instead.
Only a last minute penalty by Fiji's Seremaia Bai partly saved the visitor's blushes. The equalising score was a cruel blow to the plucky members of the Admiral Insurance corporate team who had seemed about to carve out their place in rugby history. The team's head coach, known only as The Admiral, spoke after the game about how proud he was of his lads.
"What a match and how close we were to glory," he said - kitted out in a spiffing historic military uniform with a large parrot sat upon his shoulder. "I'm immensely proud of the boys. Wales pulled out of the match for reasons I can't reveal and due to an unusual chain of events the WRU allowed the team I coach, made up of Admiral Insurance employees, to take the field in their place. What an honour.
"To go out there and play in the blue, red and white of Admiral Insurance was something we will remember all our lives. It may seem strange to some, but we had as much pride in those colours as Welsh players must have in their famous red jersey. We can also offer unbeatable value with our car insurance packages."
His words were also echoed, literally, by the parrot perched upon his shoulder.
Whilst the Admiral Insurance team were unable to cross the Fijian's try line, they did draw the appreciation of the 50,000 plus crowd when they were awarded a penalty try after a series of epic scrums were unfairly disrupted by the Islanders.
"I think Fiji were shocked by how well we scrummaged," said The Admiral. "We aren't just a bunch of guys who can offer cheaper car insurance for homes with two or more cars, you know! We can also pull a mean wheel to take the opponent's back row out of the way."
Despite the thrilling draw in Cardiff the WRU have come under intense fire for misleading fans who bought tickets expected to see Wales play. "I came here to see Wales," said John Williams of Barry, South Wales, "Not to see a corporate team in blue, red and white. However inspirational their performance was I paid to see Wales. Do you ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"
The WRU have promised to issue a full statement early next week. However they did state that with Admiral MultiCar Insurance you get a discount on all your cars and not just your main vehicle. "More cars mean bigger discounts!" said a WRU spokesperson.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The East Terrace (www.theeastterrace.com) offers an offside view of life in the rugby world
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9