Whilst sometimes sport can thrill it too can sometimes disappoint. Rugby has always been a great game for me and now for my sons too, but sometimes it can be ruined by stupidity.
Last weekend one of my clan was leading a team at the annual Aberaeron 7’s, a small weekend festival in the most fantastic setting on the West Coast of Wales. He’d gathered a team of mates who had travelled from Merthyr, Coventry and Birmingham to play in the competition. They came becasue they love playing rubgy and love all that normally goes with it.
Around the country other ad-hoc teams were coming together for similar reasons and with the intention of having a good time. And with a Youth Festival and a Women’s tournament too, it has always had the makings of a good weekend in Aberaeron.
But not everyone approaches the game in the same way. The last few months have seen acts of savagery perpetrated by “Stars” around the world. Some of the most respected men in rugby have been cited and found guilty of the most horrendous foul play and brought the game into disrepute.
Sadly, some of that nastiness cascaded down to Aberaeron 7’s last weekend. When I saw my son the morning after the tournament he could only hobble. His left knee had been stamped on, deliberately. He told me that he’d been tackled and as a ruck developed he’d protected his head with his arms only to see someone stamp – deliberately – on his knee. He didn’t see the face, or the number of the stamper. He then could only hobble off and miss the rest of the game.
The result is not life threatening, but it is uncomfortable and limiting. Ordered to rest for 2 weeks, lots of bruising and a feeling that maybe, just maybe the game isn’t the matching of man-on-man that I’d told him it was for all those years.
As for the stamper: he gets away with it and will no doubt do it again whilst representing the people of Kidwelly. I wonder if they are as proud of him as I am of my son?