TV View: Munster rise above the din as jinx sees to Danny Cipriani
Apologies and fruity language a feature of the sporting weekend, from Limerick to Boston
Gloucester’s Danny Cipriani leaves the field after receiving a red card against Munster. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Those who spend in or around 36 hours of their weekends watching sport on the telly, allotting the rest of the time to sleep, might well be accused of being slothful and, worse, of not sufficiently exercising their brains. But such is the amount of detective work now required to find out what channel is showing what game, whatever the code, the fact is that finishing the Crosaire with one hand while completing a Rubik’s Cube with the other would be less taxing.
Munster’s game against Gloucester on Saturday was straightforward enough – just about the only channels not showing it were the Food Network and Animal Planet – and two channels actually let us see it for free, which is a very rare treat this weather.
And there’ll never be any need for a “Where are they now?” feature on the bulk of our retired rugby players because most of them are now working as pundits for Virgin, BT Sport and Channel 4, all of whom made their way to Thomond Park, where they put up a heroic display in attempting to make themselves heard above the loudest PA in world sport.
Ronan O’Gara and Shane Jennings, for example, tried to chat with Virgin’s Joe Molloy on the sideline but all you could hear was “WHEN I’M WITH YOU BABY, I GO OUT OF MY HEAD, AND I JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH, I JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH”.
Which was pretty much, as it happens, how the people of Munster felt about Joey Carbery come full-time, him having had a highly useful afternoon of it, his fortunes somewhat contrasting with those of poor Danny Cipriani.
Before the game, Channel 4 showed us a pre-recorded chat between Ed Jackson and Danny, with Lee McKenzie warning us that it took place before Eddie Jones named his autumn series squad. And in it Danny talked about how delighted he was with how his season was going, how hopeful he was of getting back in the England squad and of contributing even more good stuff to Gloucester’s European campaign. And then he was left out of the squad and sent off for a high tackle against Munster. Ed “The Jinx” Jackson may struggle to secure another interview again this season.
Ronan and Shane both saluted Danny for apologising to Rory Scannell for almost removing his head, and apologies were a feature of the sporting weekend, as it proved, from Danny to Simon Zebo, whose pointing of a finger at Ulster’s Michael Lowry before scoring a try for Racing 92 had some folk so exercised you were half expecting them to demand a tribunal of inquiry.
Martin Tyler, meanwhile, was profuse with his sorries – “We can only apologise for the inappropriate language” – when roughly 40,000 people in Stamford Bridge sang “F*** off, Mourinho” after that injury-time touchline altercation, a cry that half the visiting United fans might have been tempted to join in on.
By the end of Katie Taylor’s latest bout, Sky’s Adam Smith was worn out from apologising for the fruity language being uttered in the respective corners, especially from Jordan Maldonado while he chatted with Katie’s opponent Cindy Serrano, who also happens to be his wife. Cindy didn’t throw many punches during the 10 rounds, but she must have been tempted to land one on Jordan, who makes Conor McGregor seem like Dwight Eisenhower.
Mind you, Adam could be in danger of an upper-cut himself next time he visits Wicklow. “I’m lucky enough to go to west Cork every summer and they talk about Katie with such fondness, even though she’s really a Dublin girl,” he said, the sirens going off in Bray.
“They love her throughout Ireland,” he added, “and they’ll all be watching tonight.” Which was doubtful because (a) it was 4am, and (b) a little less than 100 per cent of Irish households pay for Sky. Apart from that, he wasn’t far off.
Anyway, the bout was a squib of the dampish kind. Serrano was as reluctant to put up a fight against Katie as any of the rest of us would be. “I got quite bored halfway through,” Katie admitted to Adam. Although Jordan had informed her that Cindy’s sister Amanda would knock her out if she was brave enough to take her on. Katie grinned. Now that she’s in the pro game she knows a cartoon character when she sees one.