There will be plenty of words written about this game, and what a game it was, but what about the fans ?
I know very little about rugby. As Steve Bunce said on Five Live yesterday "I watch rugby in the pub, just because it's on, and I never know what is happening. I look around and blokes cheer and shout when the ball goes up in the air, then they look at each other and say 'is that good ?' " (Conversely, I watched England v Spain in Euro 96, in a pub with a fierce and noisy crowd. Now I do know quite a bit about football. Two lads in their early 20's had been yawping all the way through the game in support of England whilst downing half a dozen Stellas. At the end of normal time, one turned to the other and said "What a game. Er, what colour are we in ?" The other replied "White. How long is extra time ?" !!!)
However, people I asked before the France v England game, who know a few tricks about the subject felt that an England win was probably a step too far for a team that has misfired for 4 years until 2 weeks ago. Beating France on their own turf was a pipe dream.
So thousands of England fans made the trip on the day, bought tickets at exhorbitant prices, suffered the usual abuse from Parisiens, when many of them sub-consciously thought that a cheeky away victory was a hope rather than a likelihood. That is Lifesshort. The fact that England are in a semi-final of a world cup, just a stone's throw away from us (well we wouldn't think twice about driving from London to Newcastle for such an event), and we're going to have a top time whether we win or not. Today is all in the Lifesshort camp - do it now !
So the hoardes travelled, some parted with their cash for tickets, some would've done but couldn't find any, some went to watch on telly in a St Germain bar, just to be in Paris for the atmosphere. But they went to Paris because they had base enthusiasm, belief in good times and the energy to execute the manoeuvre. Lifesshort - do it now !
And despite all the negative conjecture, our hopeful masses were rewarded with an England victory. Borne out of grit, courage, muscle, skill and belief, the side that had been defeated regularly for 4 years, and laughed at 3 weeks ago when trounced by South Africa, delivered just dessert for our travelling Lifesshorters. 14 - 9, 1 try to 0, drama, Jonny, Chaball...the French capitulated, France could not believe it had happened. Their arrogance knocked high in to touch inside the 22 !
Well done England, but mighty points to the England Lifesshort fans who went to Paris and will talk of that night for years to come. They did their thing. Lifesshort - do it now !