Rugby – is it just American Football without Armour? Not in Barbados and many other places!
The recent film of “Invictus” with Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Springbok Captain François Pienaar was focussed on the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final against the dreaded Maori New Zealand team; “Alive!” was about the Uruguay rugby team forced to engage in cannibalism to survive the chill of the Andean Mountains of South America after a freak plane crash limited communications and resources…
But the sport of Rugby is far more than that – in Barbados, our rugby team was extremely community minded! Every Christmas from about 1974 to 1977 at least, speak under correction here, the Barbados Rugby Club held a Pantomime as a fund-raiser for Christmas. It was more for adults than kids… Cinderella did not lose a slipper, for the Club, she lost her Bra! In Sleeping Beauty, when the Princess was about to be cast in a spell by jooking her finger while spinning cotton? This scene was called, ‘The Prick!’
Richard “Anti-Greenland” Goddard was a member and so was former supermarket manager Stephen Licorish, other participants may or may not have been rugby players but they have their own claim to fame - John Poulter usually organised the soundtrack and music as well as chorus while Carole Poulter was the Queen in Sleeping Beauty (parents of JJ Poulter the main voice of KITE) and it was great fun chasing villains when I was far younger…
I hope the Club under George Nicholson, Stewart Copeland & Kathie Daniel will consider the possibility of reviving the Pantomime as not only fund-raising but awareness of the game and a much needed boost for the country’s morale at its current status. So, what is it like?
Whoever thought Vikings were dead and gone, has not gone to a Rugby match – I was due to go on Saturday but when the near-flood thrummed down I figured no game… WRONG! Only thing what stops Rugby is Lightning, dead serious – everything else is just IDEAL conditions for a match!
I saw five guys throughout the Trophy night with shiners or black-eye’s and they carried them like they are badges! These are not from fights as such (most of the time) it comes from when there is a Scrum and a colleague or an opponent’s skull thwacks into your cheek-bone!
There was more mud than ten pig-farms can hold, and fellows were squishing through the ooze like it’s a brisk stroll in the park, and do NOT talk about booze! Rum or beer is fine but BOTH? The songs, the chants made me swear I had bypassed usual routes and jumped into Valhalla – when one club started their Theme then another team would reply with their Theme and so on until you cannot hear yourself think!
From what I learned this NACRA 7 was a huge coup for Barbados on many levels, in hosting the Tournament even under circumstances of limited ice due to weather and Bajans closing down most places with rain. Ice is essential for Rugby in many ways, it helps with their myriad injuries and after a game it’s important to chill the drinks!
Also TeleBarbados did a great job in assisting DHL to stream the games for rugby fans across the planet, plus having Nick Jordan as commentator is no small feat – it’s a similar privilege like when Prince Harry came for Polo at Apes Hill in 2010… So I guess when I go to future matches, get a waterproof camera and boots, so I can literally wet my feet in learning the art of a Put-In or Scrimmage!