I MUST GET USED TO THIS RUGBY GAME
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
I was brought up on Aussie rules and knew no other game so when I moved to Sydney I naturally looked for a new Aussie Rules club to play for. Someone suggested St George (it was red and white) so that was good enough for me. Got fit, got selected and turned up for my first game to witness a crowd of around seven. Bloody hell, this is Aussie Rules, where was everyone?
I soon realised they played a different game in Sydney... it was called rugby something, so I had to see what this bloody new fangled game was all about.
Well, bugger me, I was a bit embarrassed ‘cos they seemed to be cuddling each other in the middle of the field, and they were actually cuddling the opposing team as well. I thought, “that’s a bit funny, what sort of game is this?”
Imagine my shock when they all stuck their hands up each other’s shorts! “Golly!” I thought. Then someone got the ball and threw the bloody thing... “free kick for sure”, I thought, but no whistle.
Then they all started to chuck the ball... not only that, they were chucking the bloody thing backwards!
Finally the useless umpire blew the whistle and awarded some bloke a free kick but the silly bastard kicked it straight out of bounds on the full. “Another free kick for sure”, I figured. But again no whistle!
Then they all started throwing the bloody thing backwards again. I was over this game, St George Aussie Rules with its crowd of seven will have to do me.
Anyway we finished up winning the Grand Final at Trumper Park in front of a much larger crowd of about 27.
But I was keen to know more about this ‘chucking the ball’ game, so I joined up to some team my friend played for in north Sydney. Well, they couldn’t believe I could put a drop kick from the centre over the crossbar each time, so they gave me the job of kicking.
I was the designated “kicker” I guess, plus I was allowed to illegally tackle blokes around the neck and legs. But they kept giving me the ball and telling me I had to kick it out of bounds on the full. I really felt uncomfortable doing that, and I wasn’t allowed to drop kick it, and when they told me to kick a goal I had to place it on this silly little plastic thing.
“Crumbs”, and they told me I had to stop handballing it backwards.
So despite all that I now play golf with Fatty Vautin (he’s off four) and my close mate Garry is Paul Gallen’s dad, but I still don’t get the game. Fatty wants to talk about nothing else than the State of Bloody Origin after golf, so I ask him who’s playing and he calls me a f...in’ dickhead!
Garry Gallen took me to see Paul play an international game and I was surprised to see they were all little blokes with big necks. I dunno, I really do want to understand this game ‘cos I quite liked playing it. There was a heap of body contact involved.
But I think I would have liked playing it a lot more if I was a poofter. Anyway there’s bound to be some reruns of ‘Days of Our Lives’ somewhere on TV tonight.