Today in Adelaide we were blessed with a dry and mostly sunny day which was wonderful after the recent wintery run of cold and wet weather. I was relieved because I went to watch my son play rugby. As I stood on the side line watching, I couldn’t help but think what a wonderful outlet playing this rough game is for boys (or young men as they now are).
Firstly there was mud and we all know boys love mud. Then there was running about, and we all know boys need about as much exercise as a medium sized family dog. Then there was tackling and knocking into each other and we know how much our boys like to rough and tumble. Then there was a good old fight (sorry, I don’t condone this behaviour) and we know how some boys need to vent their frustration and anger on each other. Then there was shouting and boys love to be loud. Then the inevitable swearing; the sort of swearing that turns the air blue and curls my ears at their edges; but it’s all accepted as part of the game. And when the boys had finished fighting, swearing, running, smashing, crashing, rolling in the mud, spitting, elbowing, kicking and clearing their nostrils without the use of a hygienic wipe, the ref blew the whistle to end the match. We all cheered their win. The teams shook hands. I love the way they show good sportmanship once the match has ended (I couldn’t do this, I can hold a grudge for weeks!) Finally they stood in their respective huddles, like exhausted wildebeest; steam rising off their panting bodies in the cold air. It was kind of satisfying to know that they had vented so much ‘man stuff’ in eighty minutes and to know that what happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch – well mostly!