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Who are you supporting?

Rugby World Cup fever is in evidence here on the Isle of Man - the only question is "Are you supporting England or South Africa?" - writes Sports Editor Tim Glover:-

The Manx community is now made up of many different nationalities - for example, some of my immediate neighbours are from the Czech Republic, Scotland and South Africa (and yes, the South African flag is hanging proudly in his bedroom window.)

A number of South Africans work in the finance sector - indeed, if you look at the backs named on a Vagabonds team-sheet, it wouldn't look out of place in Cape Town, never mind Glencrutchery Road.

Vagabonds have been given permission by the R.F.U. to postpone this Saturday's away game at Bowden as travel times mean't they wouldn't be home in time to watch the Final.

Vagas, Douglas and Ramsey are all opening their clubhouses on Saturday night to screen the World Cup Final.

Speaking of Douglas, their press contact is Gethin Taylor. From this week's rant in his preview.....it's obvious the welshman has developed South African roots:-

He writes ahead of the home fixture with Trentham - "The big concern this week is that minds are on the game and not distracted by the big match in the evening. That may be difficult as World Cup fever again appears to have taken hold, at least among England supporters. Even the more balanced amongst us, possibly because of chips on both shoulders, have a strong interest in the events of the evening, and most know intrinsically who to support as we only have ever supported two teams - our own national side, which in case I have not mentioned it previously is Wales, and anybody who is playing England.

This year it has been easier to live up to that inbred prejudice than last time round, as on performances over the last four years, and at the start of the World Cup, England have hardly set the world alight. While there is grudging admiration that they have, against the odds, reached the final - it is tempered by the fact that for the neutral it is very turgid to watch England. Unfortunately, they are not solely at fault for that - in the knock out stages most of the sides have set out their stall not to loose rather than to try to win.

This is fine if you are a supporter of the winning side as ultimately, in a knock out tournament, winning is the aim and we would all trade places. But it is not entertaining for the average arm chair viewer. It is also probably not great for the game as commentators have suggested that tactically, rugby in this world cup has regressed 20 years. Others wonder just why William Webb Ellis ever bother picking up the ball in the first place, considering how much boot has been put to ball.

Hopefully the game at Port E Chee which kicks off at 2:30pm will be a more exciting spectacle!"

So who are you supporting this Saturday night? Are you travelling to Paris? Are you a South African living in the Isle of Man? If you are Manx with your celtic connections, is it easy to side with England? How is your workplace split on the subject.....and where will you be watching the big showdown?

Please get in touch with me - my number is 682636 or e-mail timglover@manxradio.com

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