There are some interesting rugby stories on line and on twitter (yeah I know!) this morning.

fight 1

In Eastern Province there was a mass brawl in a match played as a curtain raiser to a ‘friendly’ game last Saturday. It was an Academy game and shows that the juniors are keeping up the amusing scuffles we’ve come to expect from South African rugby.

What makes it more fun is that the fighting apparently continued for several minutes. Excellent – most ‘handbags’ manage to last under 30 seconds (often less) – it is a tribute to both teams that they managed to show their more illustrious seniors how it should be done.

Even better, Robbie Kempson (a former Springbok prop and now one of the coaches) has put the blame for the fight squarely at the hands of the ref and officials. Let’s be fair, Robbie it does smack a little of kettle and pot mate doesn’t it?

I’ve seen lots of scraps on the field – both in an Askeans shirt (see earlier posts) and on TV – I watched all of them from the safety of half the field or an armchair (my cowardice is legionnaire).

I have to be honest I really don’t ever remember seeing a ref egging on one player to give a slap to his opposite number or even himself. (as in the ref not self -harming).

The air never once rang to “Oooh that was a bit late number 7 – if you don’t smack him one I’ll have to give a penalty” or even “go on shoe him he tried to dob you in for being off-side”

It didn’t even happen in those games where we had to use one of our own supporters to ref as the proper bloke hadn’t bothered to turn up (and had probably gone shopping with the Mrs – and which was almost certainly more fun).

We had good refs, bad refs and Helen Keller impersonators but I can honestly say not one of them started or directly provoked a spate of ‘handbags’. To be fair the two Kevs, Lunny, Jimmy, Kieran, Chunky, Scrapper (obviously) and Peety didn’t need much provoking!

Another story making the rounds today is from the former Scotland and Lions hooker Colin Deans who suggests that Scotland can win on Saturday by “beating England up” starting in the first minute (and you wonder why I am always a bit wary of front rows!)

Come on Colin don’t hold back – start in the tunnel (remember Micky Skinner and Eric Champ) – that’s how to make your mark (sic)

You can see Colin’s article here – it’s a good read for all those that long for the days before cameras and referrals took the fun out of rugby!

I know it’s the Daily Mail but they can’t make everything up surely!

Colin suggests that Jim Hamilton should lead the way and he may be right but Courtenay may have something to say about it.

Mind you, Jim may not have to start it if the ref blows the whistle for the kick-off and shouts “Go on Jim – smack the English bastards!”