Rugby is not a sport for the faint-hearted, and on this evidence that does not only apply to those on the field.
In fact, some of my earliest memories are as a stick of a lad on the rugby pitch getting tackled, punched and winded all in the name of sport.
But as we age we become aware of what a wonderful sport egg chasing can be, whether or not forcing youngsters into contact sports against their wishes constitutes any form of child abuse.
Cue kid getting whacked with rugby ball:
So, you know what, I’m on this poor lad’s side – admittedly giggling just a little – after he copped a ball right in the kisser during Saturday night’s NRL match between St George Illawarra Dragons and North Queensland Cowboys.
Of course, anyone attending sports events should be aware of their immediate surroundings, especially when the action can take place in your immediate surroundings. Namely your face.
Max, the kid in question, was larking about in the stands not paying attention to the on-field activities when North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston stepped up to take a conversion.
The video captures Thurston’s kick as it clears the posts and arcs in descent in the direction of Max’s noggin.
An audible ‘Ohhh!’ rises from the crowds as fans react to seeing the little lad taken clean off his feet.
A long, long time ago I found myself in a museum in Australia when the World Cup was taking place.
The Webb Ellis trophy was on display for all to see in its shiny gold goodness. On the back of the Six Nations Grand Slam win, and probably some bravado that came in the form of being a cocky teenager backpacking around the other side of the world, I decided to get a local to take a pic of me with the cup.
‘Here mate, can you take a photo for me?’ I asked a security guard. The chap obliged. ‘Actually, do you want to take one of yourself? This baby’s coming home,’ I ribbed him.
About four weeks later of watching the World Cup with Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans, Johnny Wilkinson scored that last gasp drop goal to win England’s first World Cup over Australia in the final.
Moral of the story? Well, that security guard probably still hates me, and even if you get burnt in the past you can learn to love the game over time.
Apparently Max is alright, if anyone’s concerned. Although the Dragons went on to beat North Queensland 24-10. You’ve just got to hope Max doesn’t make the same mistake at a cricket match any time soon.
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