My enjoyment of and success at hard physical sport was generally paired with an overriding want and need to hold very firmly to both the written rules and those moral guidelines so carefully placed and upheld to avoid indiscriminate violence and mayhem. These unreproachable principles held true on all but two occasions, both resulting from my assumption of protection over another’s welfare.
The first instance was probably excusable in that the unfortunate recipient of my actions was an indiscriminate brute and bully. One of my rugger teammates was quite rightly nicknamed ‘Jumbo’ due to his gargantuan height and size. Like many large men he was extremely gentle in both language and action, needing considerable cajoling to participate in combative sports to begin with and continuous positive encouragement to fully flower. The ‘bully’ in question took it upon himself to quite blatantly lay poor Jumbo low with a blatant blow delivered below the belt. As often happens in robust sport the offence went unnoticed and unpunished by official overseers, mine own vengeful eyes however were wide open. The transgressor felt the full force of my disapproval the next time he found himself at the bottom of a ruck, his soft facial tissue within easy range of my size nine metal studded boots.
The second incident was anything but excusable, the only purpose behind my act of aggression simply to stamp jungle judgement upon another. My method was perfectly within the rules, being a very zealous side on shoulder tackle into the solar plexus. The impact was titanic, the resulting carnage spectacular, resulting in the poor chap being stretchered off the field to take no further part in the sport that day or possible ever again.
My questionable excuse for this second extravagantly over reaching riposte was nothing more than the shared embarrassment of another team mate, Bob Jennings, who was sold the most outrageous dummy I have ever witnessed. Under normal circumstances the maneuver would have drawn my considered congratulation and envy, a well performed feint is indeed a wonderous sight to behold, but in this particular instance was performed with what was bordering upon an almost cruel smirk, unquestionably intended to belittle and disparage, a form of unacceptable phycological foul play in any form of extreme contact sport.