The world cup of rugby league begins today. This is marginally considered news in about three places on earth. As a leaguey I have great difficulty in comprehending how Rugby Union has such a tight strangle hold on the worlds-number-one-contact-sport-played-with-an-oval-ball spot. I really do. After all league is more barbaric and therefore more prone, in theory, at least to appeal to our residual brutish caveman instincts. Granted every imaginable form of cheap shot goes on within a rugby ruck, I have been the recipent of friendly uppercuts, well-meaning eye gouges and "sorry I thought your sternum was a trampoline" chest stomps, and that was all in one game, so union does have its own petty violence to bring to the table. But like so many things at the breakdown it's not clear what's going on, the camera is obscured, the refs view also, usually resulting in some inconsistant interpretaion of the rules at best or an incomprehsible gaf at a more frequent rate than you'd like. This is where my attraction to league begins to take hold, it's beautiful in its savage simplicity. You get six tackles to score or get smashed, then you kick the ball away and give the opposition the same oppurtunity. There are a few complex rules, the boundaries and goals are well defined. It's gladitorial and by definition insane, but that's part of the attraction. I'll never forget the rush of the first time, fearing for my life, recieving the ball and being encouraged by my team mates to run it straight as I was pulverised by 5 guys from the other side. You just can't beat that kamakzee moment of self-actualization, believe me you've got to try this sometime. I have a simple equation big hits=better entertainment, and there's no doubt that league trumps union and any other sport in this regard the great majority of the time. It's simple physics really, in league there's 10 meters of space to bulid up momentum to get pummled and in union there's maybe 3 or 4, of course with all the extra space leagues going to produce some absolute knock out hits, you've gotta love it. So, in the end it comes down to the usual macho posturing that you'd expect league is harder so league players must be tougher, I'm a league player, so I must be tough. Aristotle would have been proud.
And now for the special announcement: I'm moving to Aussie next year to play league at the grass roots level, just for fun. Wish me luck.
a to g back squat: 20*40,30*40,40*40
hang snatch: 60*3 (back gave out, called it a day)