This painting is reproduced courtesy of Dr Robin and Nina Russell-Jones 2011.
Originally entitled “A Plate for Schnabel” by the artist Allen Maddox in 1996
Renamed “Clash of the Titans” when purchased for his wife Nina by Dr Robin Russell-Jones in Auckland New Zealand on 25 October 2011 (two days after the All Blacks had won the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final in Eden Park Auckland).
The picture can be interpreted as encompassing the Red/Green of the Welsh Flag and the Black/Silver of the All Blacks colours. Presumably this was not in the mind of the artist at the time that the work was created (or so one assumes) but to our minds it depicts the exhilirating prospect of a Wales/All Black confrontation in the final of the Rugby World Cup, a prospect that was cruelly sabotaged when Monsieur Alain Rolland sent off the Welsh captain Sam Warburton in the 17th minute of the semi-final between Wales and France for a non-existent spear tackle on Vincent Clerc, the French winger. The Welsh captain received a red card, which to my mind is the worst decision ever taken on a rugby field, a decision that was taken precipitously and without reference to either of his line judges nor to the video referee. His decision killed the match, or it would have done but for the magnificent courage of the 14 Welsh players who played France off the field, scored the only try of the game, and would yet have won if Stephen Jones had slotted the conversion or Leigh Halfpenny had kicked the penalty. The final score was 9-8 to France.
I had arranged to go to New Zealand for the final with my son Christopher because I was convinced that the final in Auckland was going to be an almighty clash between the two most passionate rugby-playing nations on earth – the Welsh and the All Blacks. What is more, I favoured the Welsh to win because they were young, fit, free of injuries and the stand-out team of the tournament with the spirit to take on the All Blacks on their own turf. Either way it would have been one of the greatest rugby encounters ever and if Wales won, I wanted to be there with my son to witness it.
As it was the French lost to the All Blacks 7-8.