With less than an hour or so remaining until the 2011 NRL season kicks off, I thought it would be a nice time to reflect on why Rugby Union will always be number one in my heart!
I wanted a list of 5 but ended up with 6 instead! *7 now since I’ve added another one!
1. The players are gentleman
This week has been a great advertisement for rugby union and the men that play the great game. With the current scandals rocking both league and AFL, it is all nice and quiet on the union front and this has made me so proud. Obviously there have been scandals in union like Bloodgate but all in all, union stands a clear cut above the other codes.
2. The players are tough
Oh yeah this is one of my favourites. There is no padding, and only a mouth guard or head gear can protect you from some damage. Players contend with being stomped, thumped, kicked and just generally knocked around! I love that our guys don’t overact and lie on the ground pushing for penalties (‘google me’ Cipriani aside)! You always know when you meet a front rower, they have a distinctive nose and set of ears. Love it!
3. The supporters are great
I always know that when I go to a game of union, the supporters sitting next to me will always be good fun even if they support the OTHER team. There are no fights or foul words only good fun and clever banter. We are fanatical but not to the point of no return. I once went to a game of football (soccer) at White Hart Lane in London and what I witnessed was unbelievable! A child of no more than 8 years of age was swearing like a hardened battled trooper! This would never happen at the likes of Twickenham or Suncorp Stadium!
4. A free flowing game rocks
Watching a game of rugby is a beautiful thing. If the referee allows the game to flow nicely, it can be amazing. We aren’t restricted to 6 tackles and possession can become one of the most crucial elements in a match.
5. The Scrums are tough
Yes they are a huge problem at the moment (see previous scrum post) but wow they are much better than the uncontested scrums we see in Rugby League. I love watching a good scrum pack down and hope that my team can turn it around if they are strong enough.
6. The Lineouts are cool
Where else can you see another man lift a 6ft, 100kg man high up into the air. It’s poetry in motion!
7. It truly is international
According to the IRB there are 117 unions in the World, including the likes of Kazakhstan, Madagascar and Armenia. How amazing that the game is now travelling so widely!
I want to hear from you! What do you love about rugby?