Let me start by saying I’ve seen a lot of bad parents and their exploits throughout my involvement with rugby. From refereeing to playing I’ve seen all sorts of insults hurled at the ref and over competitive parents blah blah blah. But today tops the list folks.
I’ll set the stage, NSW Country vs Sydney Juniors U/16 match. Pretty high level of representative rugby in Australia but nothing to get worked up about. On the off chance that you were in attendance to this match, you will probably know what I’m talking about. These games use proper IRB rules, and as states, you need an AR 4. So I’m on AR 4 managing substitutions as you do.
The first half goes Sydney’s way, running in three tries to Country none. The second half however was different, with Country running in four tries. The game is really close with about 30 seconds to go, with country leading by four as they converted more of their tries. Sydney is awarded a scrum at half way. During the packing of the scrum, time expires. Time to get to work. Country managed to force two resets of the scrum before Sydney are awarded a penalty for angling. The take the tap and work their way into prime kicking position. At this point the country crowd is getting pretty worked up at the centre referee, without justification in my opinion. Probably because of the penalty. Sydney work their way to the 22 about 5 metres from the centre of the field.
At this point they are awarded a penalty. Hands in the ruck is the call. Sydney’s captain talks the options over with the full back. They conclude they will take the shot. As the lad is lining up for his kick, obviously thinking this is going to be the best moment of his life if he strokes it, the worst behaviour from parents I’ve ever seen occurs. They boo him. They boo the 15 year old kid about to take a kick in a juniors match. Not only do they boo him, but they yell insults too. “You’ll miss, you know you will!”. “You’ve already missed two already, you know this will be your third!”. The guys obviously flusted by this, as the rest of side looks at the grandstand with disbelief. As he takes the kick, a simultaneous “Stuff!” by the crowd tops it off. The kick is a shank, wide right by 10 metres. Thats it folks, game over. The look on the kids face is something that you don’t want to see. He looked like he never wanted to play rugby again.
Parents and spectators, I know it can get exciting, but remember these guys play out of the love of the game. Make sure you remember that.
*Original post from Reddit.