Biting Back

||Biting Back


With England out of the world cup the tabloids have been scrabbling around to find stuff to fill the back pages. Inevitably there are the recriminations and a performance audit for the England camp and Roy and the boys will be secretly pleased that Luis Suarez is doing his best to keep them out of the spotlight.

I talked yesterday (okay, scribbled here if you want to be pedantic) about rugby’s not so dark arts and mentioned that biting wasn’t a drama in my day as most  forwards didn’t have any teeth left with which to chomp. This would have given them a first class alibi, although I forgot to mention that more than a few Askeans would leave their choppers in the changing room – mostly by choice.


I can tell you that, after a game,  it can be quite disconcerting to shove your hand in the valuables bag (definitely not a euphemism) in order to locate your drinking vouchers – and to mistakenly think that something resembling a bear trap has been left there!

Let’s be honest we’ve had enough of this Suarez nonsense – if a little nibble is considered to be serious offence then football is about as violent as table tennis or carrying some heavy shopping. FIFA also consider spitting to be a major problem – it’s a bit of phlegm for fuck’s sake – not especially pleasant I grant you – but we’re not talking king cobra venom here guys.


Another thing football authorities don’t like is ‘brawling’ – which makes it sound like a playground scuffle – they can’t even bring themselves to call it fighting. In rugby it’s called ‘handbags’ which is largely ironic if you look at some of the slaps that land – think Federico Mendez and Paul Ackford  –

and the contretemps between Manu and Chris Ashton. –

FIFA should focus on blokes rolling around like nancies when someone brushes past them – that and working out how to convince us all that Qatar was selected because, at 125 degrees, it’s such a perfect venue for kicking a ball about. For one final thought on gnashers I would like to quote the Springbok Johan Le Roux who after biting Sean Fitzpatrick’s ear said: “For an 18-month suspension, I feel I probably should have torn it off. Then at least I could say, ‘Look, I’ve returned to South Africa with the guy’s ear.'” I often wondered if Sean asked him out for a bite when the All Blacks were next in Port Elizabeth.


By |2014-07-01T21:37:42+00:00July 1st, 2014|

About the Author:

Shutey is a sixty something former rugby player whose obsession with the game far exceeds his playing ability in the years 1959 to 2001. His blog ( details his journey from being completely unknown into total rugby obscurity. His writing varies from the serious subjects to the (very) tongue in cheek but can always be relied upon to be generally illiterate and coarse. Much like the way he played.