There was a fight at the rugby over the weekend. But there’s been “a fight at the rugby” for decades. It’s nothing new, as former players Steve Watt and Andy Dalton (who will be disciplining the players) would no doubt tell you if they weren’t muzzling their comments for the sake of propriety – and as other players of a former era could tell you, the newly knighted Colin Meads didn’t get to the top of the pile just for his ability to run with the ball in hand.
So how about all those wringing their hands stop mouthing off about how horrible it all is and just get over it, just like the players’ bruises will. It’s not a sign that society is collapsing into a black hole; rugby has been that way all its life. Anyone remember the ‘99 call’?
For the record, it sounds like it was Kelston who lost the game, but won the fight. This time.
NB: Who says “it’s never part of the game.” These are physical games played at fever pitch, so of course you’re going to get conflict. And unlike soccer, where there’s not even physicality in the game to keep everyone excited, the fights are on the pitch not off it. Ever watched Origin? Or AFL? Here’s some great scenes from the MCG earlier this year (it gets good about two minutes in).
And here’s Australia and Ireland playing ‘Combination Rules’ – a combination of AFL and Gaelic. There’s a ball there somewhere, honest.