Sunday, 12 March 2017


A guy watching the rugby yesterday offered an interesting comparison (though I doubt it was an original thought). Football: the players spend 90 minutes pretending they’re injured. Rugby: the players spend 80 minutes pretending they’re not injured. The comparisons with football don’t end there. In a better-known saying, “Football is a gentleman's game played by thugs; rugby is a thug's game played by gentleman”.

There’s so much to like about rugby: the players call the referee ‘sir’, he lets the players enjoy a civilised punch-up to relieve the pressure, and, when the players have settled their argument, just awards a penalty to restart the game. It’s just a shame that all this civility is wasted on such a boring game. Oh, he’s kicked the ball into touch. Oh, the scrum’s collapsed… again… And then, just as you’re wondering why you’re still watching, Jonathan Joseph accepts the ball, hands off a tackle, ghosts past half a dozen Scottish players, who seem immobile by comparison, and plants the ball over the line. Wow!...

Limestone pavement, Yorkshire Dales...

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