These three simple words set my heart pounding. These three simple words turn and twist my guts into knots far more complex than any intricate Celtic design. These three simple words build my hopes up to unbelievable expectation, and yet for so many times that hope and belief to be cast asunder, shattered once more upon the rocks of misfortune and the shores of missed opportunity.
These three simple words describe a beast that non believers think of as mythical and as extinct as the T-Rex, not I though. Non believers question as to whether such a beast ever roamed the world, not I though. Non believers are blinkered to the fact that the beast is once more stirring from its slumber after so many sightings that proved to be unfounded and the harbinger of so many false dawns, not I though.
Why do I believe in Y Ddraig Goch? For as a boy I saw the beast slay its enemies with an arrogance ease, born both of power and of consummate skill upon the fields of battle. Why do I believe in Y Ddraig Goch? For as a Welshman the beast’s blood courses through my own veins, filling me with a longing and heartfelt desire to see this beast cast his mighty, scorched shadow across the battlefields of this sphere once more.
And what is this beast, Y Ddraig Goch? I here yea cry a tremble of fear but also of longing tingeing your gasped question. What is this beast whose shadow I yearn for to spread his wings and burst forth from years of neglect and unfulfilled dreams?
You may well ask for the beast is nothing more and nothing less than a spirit that, for many a long year, has slumbered whilst other lesser beasts strive for Y Ddraig Goch’s mantle. Ah beasts such as the Loins of England, the Roos of Australia, Pumas of Argentina, Boks of South Africa and the fearsome all black Kiwis of the isles of Zealand. But all these beasts now are glancing over their shoulders as a giant that has slumbered for far too long has raised his mighty head, tensed his muscles and began the shake clear from the chains cast about him by the politicians and short sightedness of governing bodies blinkered by glories past.
Last week he was ambushed by the Roos in his own back yard, his component parts not yet battle hardened, with some missing through injury or being wayward of spirit. Oh the heart was there, the heart of Jenkins, Jones and Rees beating mightily and smiting the Roos own pack at will. But Y Ddraig Goch had yet to ignite itself, had not yet remembered to breathe the fire that would banish foes and leave them reeling from epic encounters, licking their wounds with downcast eyes.
But this weekend the embers are set to burst forth once more, bathing the world of rugby in the flames of pure Welsh joy. Aye, for Byrne is back defending the line releasing the charismatic Hook once more to partner the war horse Shanklin in the centres, Philips is there to tease and pull the Boks hair at will whilst S. Jones will dictate the pace. There is new blood too; George North appears for the first time in the hallowed red jersey, a young lad from here the North of Wales, upon the wing with his six foot plus frame and sixteen stone seven pounds there to add weight and balance to little dancing Shane upon the other wing. The Boks come as world champions, tomorrow we test their claim to being the best, for tomorrow the Red Dragon is set to soar once more and burst my heart with pride.
|Jenkins - The heart of the Dragon|