When I write about rugby for my own website there are certain things you would like to cover but do not have the remit to. We focus on things in the north of Britain, nothing else. However, when this old fashioned bout of handbags came to my attention I felt compelled to showcase it somewhere.
This is rugby in the UK. The fight is like a microcosm. Just watch, after the yellow cards are brandished…
Some of these men are supreme athletes; some of them are testament to the days when a specific skill could only be performed by a certain ‘type’ of player. Some are magicians with ball in hand and room to move their feet; some are back water brawlers and masters of techniques too ugly to discuss. Some get paid huge amounts of money; some have been there since the game turned professional.
In this clip you see it all. You can tell which guys are the flair players, frolicking around the fringes of the fight. In the thick of it are those that hanker for the horrible things.
You see some of the most awkward punches and you can also tell who is a bit handy with their fists. All of it is of course abhorrent and should not be made a feature of in modern sport, but…still…the fans seem to enjoy this throw back to the days before professionalism.
The good thing about rugby? Once all of this has happened the referee deals with it, the players respect him and his decision, and everyone gets on with their jobs.