My double hopes dented but not destroyed

My double hopes dented but not destroyed
No, I haven’t torn up the docket I was given as a present. Ireland’s still there with a big chance in the Six-Nations, and Nicky Henderson was on the other day from Lambourn to say Bob’s Worth is in great shape, on course for a big run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in a little over a fortnight.

No, I haven’t torn up the docket I was given as a present. Ireland’s still there with a big chance in the Six-Nations, and Nicky Henderson was on the other day from Lambourn to say Bob’s Worth is in great shape, on course for a big run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in a little over a fortnight.

They’re the two I have in the double, and if both are successful, the thick end of €500 will be winging its way to Bellurgan Point, though it’s unlikely I’d get to spending it all. Or even the thick end of it.

Ireland were 6/1 to win before the championship got under way, and after the win over Scotland had their odds clipped. Joe’s team were made favourites following the rout of Wales, but are now second choice, 5/2 compared to England’s 15/8.

England are worthy favourites, the third to hold that position since the competition began. That win of theirs in Saturday’s Twickenham epic was deserved, even though the crucial score in the 13-10 win could be traced to an Ireland mistake. It’s a matter for conjecture how the game would have ended had the ball been kept in play from an Ireland tip-off.

Robert Kearney was a juicy price to be first try-scorer. I didn’t take it, but like the many thousands in green looking in or looking on enjoyed the moment as the No 15 skipped over the line. A contender for a place on this island’s greatest-ever team, he is surely an Ireland captain in waiting.

While one career is flourishing, another is sadly coming to an end. I loved it every time Brian O’Driscoll got the ball, but unlike oftentimes before, no scores came from it.

Should BOD recover from the injury that caused him to retire on Saturday, making it for the Italy match the weekend after next, he’ll break the record for the most international caps, which he currently shares with Australia’s George Cregan. And if that game results in an Ireland win, then it could be all down to the final match with France in Paris.

Indeed, if those last two matches yield wins, it would have to be odds-on Ireland taking the title. The big wins over Scotland and Wales give the greens a superior points average than the other three currently sharing the top spot, and as it’s likely there won’t be much between England and a resurgent Wales, regardless of who wins, Ireland may just have to keep on winning.