Saturday, 25 October 2008

The running game...

Editor's note - Read script before clicking on film link...(cont'd p.94)

As I may have mentioned in the past, I've always been a keen rugby man, I also like cricket, and even played golf until wearing Rupert Bear trousers became compulsory. A good running game of rugby was my preference, and modern rugby has been helped tremendously as the laws have been honed to create open games where speed really counts - even with the forwards, who used to spend the whole match close to the ground and covered in mud!

I started playing at full-back at school, moved in to scrum-half occasionally, and after 'filling out' (flat living, pubs, those peculiar curries that came in a tin which you opened from each end, etc), graduated to tight-head prop, in the Club first team.

In those days, the laws made the game very sluggish, it always rained and very often, those in the scrum could be stuck in the same muddy place for anything up to ten minutes, grunting, bashing, mauling, swearing etc, and all getting soaking wet and eventually appearing from the heap the same brown colour! The ball would eventually emerge, and be sent out to the wing, where the No 13 or No 14 man would still be in pristine, spotless kit, and often shivering with cold. He would be there just to give us some time for a breather, as he invariably dropped the ball with frozen fingers or screamed for mercy as an opposing player went for his legs!

As the lineouts could often be a farce as well, it made for interesting but slow play, interspersed by the odd shriek of pain coming just after a stray elbow was depatched to anyone within reach...

The modern game laws came a bit too late for me, and I stopped playing regularly but when jogging became a national pastime, I took to that quite well, and kept reasonably fit in the process, even doing the odd bit of exercise on holiday!

Unbeknown to me, someone in our group took a video camera and shot this rare footage of one of my forays into the countryside, and luckily the old in-bred running game instinct surfaced for a just a few gorgeous moments...



video

I wish... ;0)

19 comments:

rvi said...

Yup - and I bet you also had hair like Mike Heseltine's in those days too!

word ver: swet he so !! (how do they do it?)

lilith said...

hahahahahahahaha!

The Lakelander said...

Brilliant video Scrobs!

I was a loose head prop whose greatest skill was just to land on people. Well...it worked for me....

Blue Eyes said...

LOL! Excellent.

nomad's travel services said...

Scrobs: Being/seeing as you are a sporting gentleman with an obvious love of its various forms you may like to know that in Orford, a tiny settlement in Tasmania, about an hour's drive north east from Hobart, there is splendid cafe/restaurant/bakery which serves delicious pancakes with ice cream as well as other Oz culinary "delicacies". I am not 100% certain, but I think it may be called Scorchers (but if not, it is the one next door). It is located right at edge of the bridge across the Prosser River on the main road, a truly magnificent location. While you are waiting for your food to be cooked, you can spend the time inspecting the three large glass showcases which hold (now probably unique) memorabilia of Australian professional and international sport and sportsmen/women - mainly, but not only, cricket, rugby, and Olympics - dating back over 50 years. They have a showcase containing more than 20 cricket bats fully autographed by Oz tests teams (including Len Hutton and his mates) as well as the caps, jerseys, balls and other items of equipment from the other sports mentioned. The cases also contain a good collection of books and photographs of the time about famous, and perhaps not so famous Aussie sporting personalities. I found the whole collection fascinating just to gaze at in wonder as I waited for my pancake stack to materialise. I doubt if there is any similar sporting collection in the UK, or indeed anywhere else.

So next time you and Mr Idle can't decide where to go for a city break, try Hobart and environs - itself worth the trip - and make your way up to Orford for a day by the river and a peep at Oz sporting history. Definitely better than any fusty old museum. You can go fishing or sailing after your meal.

There is of course no charge for this information.

nomad said...

Oops - Len Hutton, that famous Oz cricketer! Sorry, I meant Neil Harvey. (Got interrupted as I was typing that and my train of thought hit the buffers.)

Scrobs said...

Reevers - er...not much different than the upper bonce pic in the profile actually!

Somehow the colour washes out after time, but I put that down to a healthy diet of good white wine, which obviously has a bleaching/greying effect...

word ver 'abllub'...sounds like self administerable graphite grease - or worse; depends who your friends are...

Scrobs said...

Thanks Lils, I knew you'd understand...

Scrobs said...

Lakers - difficult position Loose head, but easy to escape the inevitable collapse after a few minutes of course!

'The landing of the Lakes' somehow seems like a good title for a film...

Scrobs said...

Thanks Blues...

I love the film, especially as the guy shrieks 'Ai Yah' which reminds me of The Beast of Clerkenwell!

Scrobs said...

Nomers; now that IS interesting! I don't know where you could find such a collection over here, probably in the HQ buildings of each sport I suppose.

My own bits and pieces comprise a collection of old International Rugby programmes from the sixties and seventies, and a couple of those miniature cricket bats which had printed signatures on them.

One of these is the Oz team from 1953 (I think), and I'll check - if I can find them that is!

nomad said...

Somewhere in the loft I have the programme from the Russia v Wales world cup qualifying match (I think it was) in Moscow, where I just happened to be passing through that weekend. I sometimes wonder what it might be worth to a collector, and usually come to the conclusion of about the 3 kopecks [roughly equivalent to a quarter of a farthing in those days] I paid for it.

nomad said...

editor: please insert ...dated 1964... John Charles and Ivor Allchurch were in the team... after Moscow.

Scrobs said...

Nomers, here's a small anecdote to all this.

Some time ago, I got talking to a couple from Oz, who were looking at stones in the boneyard behind the Turrets.

They were an interesting pair, I liked them, and we talked for some time about this and that, but they also said something which made my ears prick up...

Apparently, they had learned that Len Hutton's original family came from a small village near Rye or Tenterden, in Sussex/Kent. In fact, there were several leads to this, but none verified.

Now, I'm not a gullible sort of chap, but stories like this are interesting for their own worth, and I began to look at how may generations of Huttons could have come before the great man, and who lived, maybe near here.

I've never got to the bottom of the yarn, and almost certainly never will, but these people were adamant and as far as I'm a judge of citizens, they were totally honest!

So there - confusing what...?

electro-kevin said...

Bloody funny, that video !

I love the way the leopard sort of says, "Oh fuck it ! I'm giving up." as Scrobs comes into view.

nomad said...

Scrobs: Interesting. But I agree with you there are better ways of passing the time than ploughing through ancient hatches, matches and despatches registers in dusty churches and stuffy local council offices.

mutleythedog said...

what did you do with the antelope thingey?

Scrobs said...

Well Mutters; it's a long story...

Tuscan Tony said...

You arw the one dressed in the leopard-suit, I presume.