Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
14 March 2017
A Poem for old rugby players...........
When the battle scars have faded
And the truth becomes a lie
And the weekend smell of liniment
Could almost make you cry.
When the last rucks well behind you
And the man that ran now walks
It doesn’t matter who you are
The mirror sometimes talks
Have a good hard look old son!
The melons not that great
The snoz that takes a sharp turn sideways
Used to be dead straight
You’re an advert for arthritis
You’re a thoroughbred gone lame
Then you ask yourself the question
Why the hell you played the game?
Was there logic in the head knocks?
In the corks and in the cuts?
Did common sense get pushed aside?
By manliness and guts?
Do you sometimes sit and wonder
Why your time would often pass
In a tangled mess of bodies
With your head up someone’s......?
With a thumb hooked up your nostril
Scratching gently on your brain
And an overgrown Neanderthal
Rejoicing in your pain!
Mate – you must recall the jersey
That was shredded into rags
Then the soothing sting of Dettol
On a back engraved with tags!
It’s almost worth admitting
Though with some degree of shame
That your wife was right in asking
Why the hell you played the game?
Why you’d always rock home legless
Like a cow on roller skates
After drinking at the clubhouse
With your low down drunken mates
Then you’d wake up – check your wallet
Not a solitary coin
Drink Berocca by the bucket
Throw an ice pack on your groin
Copping Sunday morning sermons
About boozers being losers
While you limped like Quasimodo
With a half a thousand bruises!
Yes – an urge to hug the porcelain
And curse Sambuca’s name
Would always pose the question
Why the hell you played the game!
And yet with every wound re-opened
As you grimly reminisce it
Comes the most compelling feeling yet
God, you bloody miss it!
From the first time that you laced a boot
And tightened every stud
That virus known as rugby
Has been living in your blood
When you dreamt it when you played it
All the rest took second fiddle
Now you’re standing on the sideline
But your hearts still in the middle
And no matter where you travel
You can take it as expected
There will always be a breed of people
If there’s a teammate, then you’ll find him
Like a gravitating force
With a common understanding
And a beer or three, of course
And as you stand there telling lies
Like it was yesterday old friend
You’ll know that if you had the chance
You’d do it all again
You see – that’s the thing with rugby
It will always be the same
And that, I guarantee
Is why the hell you played the game!
Anonymous (or until someone tells me who wrote it!)
Andy Haden and Frank Oliver conjured up a lineout dive v Wales in Cardiff to fool the ref into giving NZ a penalty; that later led to a 13-12 AB win.
Cambridge University, Edinburgh University and Scotland
22 internationals for Scotland 1900–08
1 international for Great Britain 1904
One of the first men in rugby to gain a reputation for being a tough, hard-nosed footballer, D.R. Bedell-Sivright (spelled Bedell-Sievewright by some historians) was a vigorous forward (and a Scottish heavyweight boxing champion), perhaps a forerunner of the tough men of later generations.
There were some who disapproved of Bedell-Sivright’s uncompromising methods, considering them ‘ungentlemanly’. Nevertheless, he built an excellent record in the Scottish forward pack.
He was chosen as captain of the Great Britain team that toured Australia and New Zealand in 1904. Winning that position ahead of an Englishman was perhaps the greatest tribute paid to ‘Darkie’, as the team was chosen by the (English) Rugby Football Union.
Bedell-Sivright, whose brother John also played for Scotland, was for a time a stock-rearer in Australia. He died of blood poisoning at Gallipoli during World War I.
Who said; 'Rugby League is a simple game played by simple people. Rugby Union is a complex game played by wankers?'