The other day a couple of the lads from my rugby club and I were sitting on the bleachers having a pre-practice pint and talking about phasing it back a little bit. My two compatriots were right at the 40-year mark and were talking about coaching more and playing less; I knew I wasn’t too far behind. I’ve got a few more good years in me, but I’m not confident my knees can carry my weight around for as long as I’d like.
I guess that with that defeatist attitude I’m toast already. Because this hardcore dude pictured to the left, a 66-year-old truck driver who plays flanker for a club in New Zealand at a similar level to mine, is thinking that maybe it might be time to hang it up. Maybe.
Here’s the story.
After 48 seasons of senior rugby, sometimes playing with the grandsons of old team-mates, the 66-year-old reckons he has had a reasonable trot in the game and is considering making this his last season as a flanker for the Southern United Cavaliers, who sit mid-table in the Waikato senior second division (senior reserve) competition.
“It’s starting to get to the stage now where the pain for the rest of the week is not worth the 80 minutes. It must be coming to a close soon but I wouldn’t like to say exactly when.”
This is not the best-quality image, but I would like you to note that the entire Crusaders’ front row is strongly bearded. The only way less beard could be more intimidating would be if (and it’s an iffy if) the entire front row were Polynesian.
Super Rugby Crusaders scrum half Andy Ellis is growing a fantastic moustache this 2011 season. And it is a moustache, not a mustache, given its style and the fact that it is being worn by a rugby player (rugby is a sport where players get whistled for playing the ball whilst on the ground).
In recent weeks the moustache has begun to develop upcurled tips that keep their shape through the roughest of tackles. This image is from his jog back after scoring a try against the Chiefs this past weekend.
And here’s a video of him in action.
Hm…what meaneth this bloody paw-mark?
Rugby’s a pretty quick way of getting to know a man’s character.
Well, rugby is over until next Spring (Winter really), and we get a couple of months off to recover. My club is St. Andrew’s Rugby in Greenville, SC; we had a great season for a new club. A couple of signature wins, some “character-shaping” losses as we moved the competition up a notch.
Indulge me, if you will, in this retrospective post.
Hey all, just want to give props to my rugby club, St. Andrew’s Rugby Football Club. We’re playing our second season as a social club, looking to move into DIII next spring. We finished our inaugural season at 4-4, but this year, due to a tougher schedule and a lot of changes in our back line, we’ve struggled mightily.
We went up to Johnson City, TN, by far the best DIII team in the area, and got slaughtered. We traveled to Charlotte Barbarians, who took it to us physically for a twenty point win. Went to Lander University with high hopes, but traveled without a lot of our skill players and just got out-toughed by those young guys. Grew up a lot in a scrappy four-point loss at Gastonia Gargoyles.
0-4, boys. Not pleasant. Discouraging for the veterans, and for the young guys.
This Saturday we hosted Barbarians, dug deep, and came back from 17-0 down to pull out the 25-24 win. And it was tight. Barbarians scored on the last play of the game, and if they had made the conversion from the corner, would have won. Our back line, full of newer players, played better. And of course that helped. But it was all about toughness. We never gave up, kept slamming into them, and wore them down.
Three cheers for the boys.