FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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V for Vic Arious
Vic tells a Wales Tale
Wales, home to coal mines, Welsh rarebit and the occasional rugby league international. Is there any country in the rugby league world that teases, taunts and occasionally triumphs followers like the Welsh?
This weekend, after having played their opening Four Nations game on English soil, the Red Dragons return to Wales for their final match of the tournament in Wrexham against a disrupted Australian side. Like both France and Papua New Guinea before them the Welsh have toiled hard in their tournament matches without being able to steal a victory, and on current form are not expected to break this hoodoo against the Kangaroos.
However, this is the men in red we're talking about!
While some degree of unexpectedness is, um, well, expected in international sport the Welsh rugby league side like to push this notion to the limit with their unpredictable performances.
Over the course of their long bumpy history Welsh rugby league has reached some dizzying heights and plumbed some depressing lows. It was only years ago that the side failed to qualify for the 2008 World Cup, yet here they are once again mixing it with the big boys after a stirring victory against France in the European Cup.
As far as games against the Kangaroos go it's hard to go past the 2000 World Cup semi-final as far as quality goes. In an event that featured arguably one of the strongest Australian line-ups put together, the Welsh left green and gold fans numb as they raced out to a 18-6 lead, only to be run down in the second half. Wales ended up being the only side to score more than two tries against Australia in twelve months, something for them to be especially proud of.
So, with the Kangaroos carrying a cache of wounded players and seemingly more interested in sightseeing in Berlin than Bridgend this week is there any chance of the red dragon rising once again?
As it stands this year has been a mixed one for the game in Wales, with the extra publicity of the 4 Nations being tempered with the Crusaders Super league withdrawal. A win against Australia seems a mighty mountain to climb at this stage, but a solid performance in front of the faithful would do wonders for the years between now and the World Cup.
Here's hoping they're up for it. For the tournament, for their country and for the game itself.
Ewch i'r dreigiau!