Although my son was in the school rugby team in Belgium, his level was so low (as sports levels in Belgian schools are generally very low) that he couldn’t even join the school team here.
After living here a couple of months I was happy about that, about him not being able to play. It is a terror for all the moms. They all seem to break a leg or arm or even a hip (!) while playing. When you see a boy with a cast it’s almost certain to be a rugby accident. During a game in school there are always 2 ambulances present, and one day when I picked up the kids they were actually both leaving the school with a wounded guy -kid- inside.
Not that I know something about soccer, but of rugby I know even less. I never ever watched a game. They don’t even show rugby on Belgian TV. So it comes as no surprise that when last week my daughter text me, saying (all excited) that the ‘All Blacks’ were in her school, that I actually had to google them before I answered her message. They are -supposedly- the best rugby team in the world. And just a bit later she send me with a photo of her and the -again supposedly- most handsome player of the team, Dan Carter. Now on her Facebook, of course.
The team went to the school for a few times, practicing for the game against the Argentine Pumas, to be played last Saturday. They practiced rugby, and they also got the girls and the boys all excited about them. The team is legendary.
My daughter, who rather practices sports then to watch it on tv, arranged with her friends to watch the game at home. They were supporting the wrong team. The New Zealanders. The All Blacks. One of the girls said they better not mention that to the boys in school. Those boys are all in the school rugby team, and they are all, beyond any doubt, huge Puma fans.
They had me tempted to watch the game with them. My first rugby game. And I thought it was rather exciting, it had absolutely nothing to do with a boring soccer game. The players are so huge they look like walking fridges, but then very flexible and extremely fast fridges. They fight like animals to get the ball where they want it, but still they are so in control. More then once we said “ouch” or “ooh” or “ahhh” and “OMG that must hurt!”, but each time they get up and continue playing, as if it was nothing.
We laughed and smiled and agreed that these guys are what we call real men, and not, as my aunt would say, “postcards”…
It probably didn’t convert me into a rugby fan, but now at least, I can say I have seen the All Blacks play, and I will never ever have to google them again…which is already something!