Danny Breslin

How it is…

Tackling Jonah Lomu

Have you ever felt really unwelcome?

Many years ago a friend of mine, Glynn, asked me to give him a hand helping his parents as they were moving back to Wales. Why anyone would want to move back to Wales after escaping is a mystery to me but there you go.

We hired a 7.5 tonne truck and drove down there the night before, staying on a nearby static caravan park. Taking advantage of the on-site club, we drank enough to make the job harder the next day and sang loud enough on the way back to the caravan to annoy the other residents so that made us happy.

He rang his parents the next morning only for them to say they would be delayed for a couple of hours. That suited us because we were a bit hung over and needed a swift pint as a hair of the dog that bit us.

We went to a pub in a nearby village. Glynn announced he had stomach cramp so asked me to get the beer in while he popped to the toilet. There were about eight or nine local men in the bar. They looked like farm hands who had finished their morning toil and they were all big lads.

I went to the bar and stood next to an skinny little old bloke who looked like he was in his eighties. I was served my beer and while I was waiting for my mate I picked up a local newspaper and, being a man, I went straight to the back first to check out the sports pages. The local village cricket scores were there and one unfortunate team were all out for 44. I turned to the old man and made a remark about how poor that score was, he growled back “F*** off, I’ve seen England all out for less than that!”

I didn’t take offence, I just chuckled and replied he was probably right.

These events were during a Rugby World Cup year, the events made famous by the film Invictus when South Africa beat New Zealand against all odds and expectation. As I turned the page there was a picture of the superhuman New Zealand wing Jonah Lomu.

Courtesy telegraph.co.uk

Courtesy telegraph.co.uk

A seemingly unstoppable monster of a man who, I heard, weighed in at over 18 stone yet could run an 11 second 100metres! This beast terrorised opponents and left broken bodies in his wake. Now surely I couldn’t go wrong talking about rugby union in Wales – it is after all their state religion.

I showed the photo to the old man, “He’s a big lad ain’t he?”

“F*** off, JPR would rip his head off!” I was beginning to wonder if this vile old git began every sentence with f*** off. The JPR he was referring to was of course the legendary Welsh international JPR Williams, arguably the finest fullback to ever grace the game.

Courtesy rugbyfancast.com

Courtesy rugbyfancast.com

But could even the amazing JPR in his prime bring down the juggernaut Lomu? I expressed my doubt “…well I’m not sure about that…”

This seemed to cause a (ahem) mild reaction which I thought might stop the old geezer’s heart, it’s a pity it didn’t. In fact it was a small explosion: “YOU F***ING WHAT???”

Now the other guys in the bar starting taking interest and leaving their seats, one of them called out “What’s up Dai?”

“This English bastard is taking the piss out of JPR!”

I stood up to face them, protesting my innocence but already resigned to defending myself against this heathen mob.

Courtesy comicbooked.com

Courtesy comicbooked.com

As last stands go I felt like George Armstrong Custer – apart from the pointy beard, tasselled jacket and appalling human rights record – but if that was the way it was going to be then I was going to take a couple of them with me.

Just then Glynn returned from the toilet to find the place in uproar and me the eye of this Welsh storm. “Whoa, whoa leave it out!” Pushing me back onto my stool and then standing as a barrier and peacemaker between me and the farmers. He managed to calm the situation and quite wisely suggested we drink up quickly and head for the exit.

“I leave you alone for five minutes…”


July 29, 2013 - Posted by | Stuff and Nonsense | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Our man managed to stop Jonah Lomu… he never managed to score a try against us… but I do believe that the Welsh are Rugby mad.. nearly been a fight or two here just for shouting for the wrong team in the wrong pub… but then if you think Jonah could run fast…you should see me…

    Comment by bulldog | July 29, 2013 | Reply

    • Yes, a certain Mr Francois Pienaar? One of my sporting heroes, what a player!

      Comment by Danny Breslin | July 31, 2013 | Reply

  2. We (Australia) pushed the Welsh bastards back over their line at Cardiff… Oh what a site!

    Comment by john zande | July 29, 2013 | Reply

    • Bastards is a bit harsh old son.lol The Welsh are good people, same as everywhere I guess. It’s just I managed to sit next to an English-hating old twat who was looking for an excuse to cause trouble for me. That’s just the way it goes.

      Comment by Danny Breslin | July 31, 2013 | Reply

      • Apologies, Australians use ‘bastard’ in a thousand different ways, mostly all positive. True, the Welsh are goodhearted folk… hard to dislike pink people 🙂

        Comment by john zande | July 31, 2013

      • No need to apologise to me old pal, it’s the thousands of Welsh bastards who are after your blood as we speak that you need to explain it to.lol (By the way Welsh people reading this, sorry about the questioning of your parentage, I think you’re all great – it’s my Aussie mate John you should be talking to, if he can understand your strange accent hehehehe)

        Comment by Danny Breslin | August 2, 2013

      • Shhhh, don’t tell any of the i’m in Brazil 😉

        Comment by john zande | August 2, 2013

  3. Oh my Lord, I thought us Yanks took sports seriously! I am happy your bacon was saved!

    Comment by richardmax22 | July 29, 2013 | Reply

    • Cheers pal, my bacon escaped intact. If only I had learned how to back down, but you know what it’s like when you’re that age…

      Comment by Danny Breslin | July 31, 2013 | Reply

  4. You are so lucky you didn’t start the classic barroom fight Hollywood is so known for in producing on screen. This sounds like the guy took his sports seriously. Well, I wouldn’t have liked to mess with him either. I’m just glad you got out of there alive!

    Comment by Jack Flacco | July 29, 2013 | Reply

    • I’ve been unlucky enough to be in the middle of a couple of those in the pub I used to drink in when I was in my late teens/early twenties. It was a fun at the time but I wouldn’t fancy it now.
      It wasn’t really about the sport. That old guy was just looking for an excuse to cause trouble and expected the others to do his fighting for him.

      Comment by Danny Breslin | July 31, 2013 | Reply

  5. I don;t understand the game or the politics. I do understand your story, and I loved it! I wonder if the parents got the benefit of your services…

    Comment by mj | August 5, 2013 | Reply

    • Yeah we got the job done that afternoon; why, do you need some furniture shifting? I’m cheap!

      Comment by Danny Breslin | August 5, 2013 | Reply

      • Nah! I would like to feed you so you can demolish other furnitures…! 🙂

        Comment by mj | August 6, 2013

      • One of these days I’ll take you up on that offer, you can feed me all you like my friend.

        Comment by Danny Breslin | August 7, 2013

  6. […] rationale of this move after the events I told you about from a previous venture over the border, when it was me versus a pub, but you know I don’t hold […]

    Pingback by A Welcome in the Hillsides « Danny Breslin | June 23, 2014 | Reply

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