The Lions Verdict is in……

Day 5 cntd (17th Jan 2009)

JJ Moons (Tooting Broadway) 3 x ½ Everards Tiger £3.00

Ah, the irony. Having claimed that we’d rather stay in The Royal Standard than go to a Wetherspoon’s, we proceeded to come directly out of Tooting Broadway station and go straight into – a Wetherspoon’s! Score.

Even by Wetherspoons normal standards, this one is pretty dreadful – however, the saving grace that it shares with all its sister pubs is that it is extremely cheap. The price for a pint of Everards comes in at £2.00 a pop which means that it has already broken the cheapest pint record that was set merely hours ago in Chelsea. Well done JDW.

Other than that, we spent our time chatting to a middle aged Irish gentlemen who was thoroughly, thoroughly pissed, and absolutely determined to hold court with his favourite anecdotes – most of which were utterly filthy. Seriously, you don’t want to know.

By the way – did you know that there is a statue of Edward VII outside Tooting Broadway? It has an inscription underneath it that says “Erected by Public Subscription in 1911”. Ooer missus. That actually means that it has been there longer than the tube station which was built in 1926, and apparently it is Wandsworth’s only statue of note. Why there? Well they wanted to make the area look posh, and he had only just died the year before. Enough. History lesson over, the mission must continue.


INTERLUDE: Essential Pub Conversations Number 7 – Who are the Heroes from the British and Irish Lions Tour to South Africa?

Well, this one is jumping forward in time again, but since we put together our amateurish team selection for the Lions Tour together way back in January, we thought it was only right that we should sup some beer and pick over the bones of the event, and use the benefit of hindsight to select our heroes from “The Tour We Should Have Won”.  We decided to start by putting together our best team of the tour – based on all the matches, but of course with particular emphasis on the Tests.

Would you believe that there wasn’t even that much arguing? I tried my best to insinuate that my Celtic friend was putting a Welsh bias on the selections, but if I’m honest, for the most part I agreed with him. Plus, of course, he pulled the “I know, I was there card”, since in a display of heroic bravery, he and Nigel, another fine Welshman, had spent something like 40 hours of travelling for 36 hours in South Africa to support the men in red at the 3rd Test. Excellent support chaps. Here goes with the selection:


Jamie and Keith’s Team of The Tour –

15. Rob “Superglue fingers” Kearney (Ire)

14. Tommy Bowe (Ire)

13. BOD, of course (Ire)

12. Jamie Roberts (Wal)

11. Shane “Johnny Come Lately” Williams (Wal)

10. Stephen Jones (Wal)

9. Mike “D’ya want some?” Phillips (Wal)

8. Jamie Heaslip (Ire)

7. Martin “Every Little Thing He Does is Magic” Williams (Wal)

6. Joe “Total Defence” Worsley (Eng)

5. Paul O’Connell (Ire)

4. Simon “How Old?” Shaw (Eng)

3. Hair Bear Jones (Wal)

2. Matthew “How many fingers are you holding up?” Rees (Wal)

1. Gethin Jenkins (Wal)


Sheridan (Eng), Vickery (Eng), Alun Wynn-Jones (Wal), Tom Croft (Eng), Wallace (Ire), Monye (Eng), Byrne (Wal)


Who’d have thought, an all Welsh front row. In fact, the only arguments we had were about the back row (I wanted Croft on the basis that Williams hadn’t played enough), and the second row (POC nearly didn’t get a place because Wynn-Jones and Shaw were so awesome. But he was captain, he was inspirational, and he never stopped trying 

Some other thoughts for your dissection and delectation:

The Man of Tour:  For us, Mike Phillips. Brilliant throughout. He even played at centre for Christ’s sake!  Punchy in more ways than one.

The Jon Bentley Award for Revelation of the Tour:  Jamie Roberts. We knew he could be good, but had no idea just how good. Big fella isn’t he?

The Elton John and Kiki Dee award for Best Duet: BOD and Roberts. Played together as if they’d been doing it for 10 years.

The British Angling Association Award for Best Tackle:  Gethin Jenkins on Brian Habana. Prop takes down the fastest man in world rugby. Ha!

The Eric Cantona “Moment of Madness” Award: Why, Ronan, why?

The Tom Watson “Age is no Barrier” Award: Simon Shaw. What a way to finish your international career. Not sure about tackling via knees in the back though.

The Roger Daltrey “Substitute” Award: One of the best Full-Back displays we’ve seen – just a surprise that it was from Rob Kearney rather than poor broken Lee Byrne

The Take That/George Foreman/Lazarus Comeback Award: Phil Vickery, straight after the first scrum in the third test. Revenge.

The Howling Mad Murdoch Award for Lunacy: Peter De Villiers really is mad, isn’t he? It comes to something when your own RFU feels it has to apologise for you. Lets all put our tutus on.

The Led Zeppelin “Heartbreaker” Award: Morne Steyn, last kick of the 2nd Test. Bastard.

The Freddie Kreuger Award for Improper use of the Fingernails: Schalk Burger. What were you thinking?

And finally…

The “No Retreat, No Surrender” Award for Fighting Back: Mike Phillips, on many, many occasions across the tour, one of which he explained with the words “Well, it was old school.  He hit me off the ball, so I hit him back didn’t I?” It’s only a matter of time before he goes inside for instigating a riot in Cardiff town centre, but God Love him anyway.


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