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Rugby World Cup Tries But Football Wins

by | 9th, October 2007

THE Rugby World Cup is stirring passions. And many are enjoying it because it is not football.

Of course, rugby fans refer to players as being “good footballers”, a notion backed up by the site of “footballing” players lamping the ball high and handsome into space in the manner of any number of Bolton Wanderers’ soccerists.

But rugby union is not football. The fans say it is better. As Mick Hume notes in the Times, rugby fans are a breed apart, laughing it up as an oikish soccer player heads a ball ruby man’s dog has pissed on. This is “England’s real passion”, says the Land Rover advert which features this vignette. Laughing at people and toilet humour is indeed the English way.

But rugby is not football. For one thing, there are no oiks. Rugby players are men. Rugby players are not thugs on banning orders.

But there is hope that one day rugby can be every bit as popular as soccer. As the Guardian reports, almost 900 New Zealand fans have responded to a website dedicated to English referee Wayne Barnes. (Yes, Wayne, as in Wayne Rooney.)

The Kiwis are upset that Barnes failed to spot a forward pass that led to the country’s defeat to the French.

A correspondent writes: “I hope he dies in a car fire.” Says another rugger fan: “We should put him a lion’s den…with no clothes on..then get a top sniper and sniper him on the head.” Another adds that if he ever see Barnes in New Zealand he will “poke his eyeballs out”.

Good effort boys. And one day rugby may be as exciting as football. But little steps. Let’s not get carried away…



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