Rugby guys aren’t as tough as they used to be
Posted by craigbaltz on February 9, 2009
Went out and watched Fresno RFC play BA Barracus (San Francisco/Bay Area) in a pretty good DII match. Fresno won the match 33-19, but I am left with another lasting impression. Fresno’s starting outside center came out of the match after being raked. Nice foot long rake mark down his leg, no blood, nothing broken. For the uninitiated, raking in rugby is the act of stepping on a player (yes, with metal cleats) and continuing to move in a running motion. This is not done without purpose as 99% of the time it is used as punishment for an opponent laying in the way of a ball in our possession. In my day it was well known if you were on the wrong side of the ball, you were a target. We also knew that in the course of a match it happened, and we wore our wounds with pride, often showing them off at bars for sympathy from girls :) If we came out of a match unscathed, we always wondered if we had played hard enough. Raking is now illegal. Which I don’t agree with because now the opposition has one less discouragement from disrupting the offensive ball and the flow of the game. So anyway…about 15 minutes in, this guy (a decent player I should note) gets raked and COMES OUT OF THE GAME. Luckily I heard a couple of the Old Boys giving him shit, in my opinion it was embarrassing. Rugby is not a sport for the soft. Now they have numerous substitutions, when I started we only got two in an entire match and the ref or a doctor had to confirm you couldn’t continue! I played for ten years before I EVER came out of a game and that was with a concussion with 5 minutes left in a game we were winning by 30 points.
Well here I am sounding old again, complaining about the young uns…I’m gonna go smoke a cigar and listen to some Sinatra as old men are prone to do…