I was being as un-obvious as possible, but he obviously saw that I had recognised him, as he smiled his best "on camera during a tight part of the game" smile at me (which is slightly warmer than his "you call that mauling?" smile). He didn't recognise me, so Jules... I think we need better Rugbyheads corporate t-shirts!
I'm sure if I had been with DH that Robbie would have stopped to chat and I might have been introduced, but that wasn't to be...
So what was so interesting about watching the weekends game that I would bother you with it?
Well... since you asked, there were two things, and they were both associated with our house guests.
Firstly the fact that they are Australians, and the Crusaders were playing an Australian team. And secondly that although my uncle played Union at school, they are really League fans, so we watched the St George (Illawarra) vs Cronulla Sharks game straight after!
We had been poking sh*t at each other for just under a week, so I was semi-prepared for this game. My aunt starts off a discussion of who are they going to support? I said that they could support the Reds if they wanted to, to which she replies "But no-one likes Queensland!"
My uncle then mumbled something along the lines that he was even ready to support the Reds rather than a NZ team!
GAME ON !!!
Actually the game passed in an air of friendly conviviality (my uncle couldn't bring himself to support the Reds too enthusiastically). His most dramatic comment being a reference to the musical tones of Tapa Hennings accent, at which he declared that this bloody South African sounded just like Kiwis!
It was a good game for them to watch, as it had plenty of action. And Tapa Henning did a really good job, except for forward passes and having to chat to Peter every try. (You would have thought with Mr. Ericson off the side-line we wouldn't have heard so much from him - but Tapa was kind enough to invite his opinion.)
So that was all over eventually with a good win, and only 3kg of condition lost per Crusader!-(
Next the League. I can't remember the last time I watched a game, so I had forgotten how rough, tough and downright dirty it is. There were two trips to Disneyland won in the first 10 minutes! Cosmetics were applied in almost every tackle, and the only tackle penalties were for holding the tackle for too long!
It was a very exciting game, with some excellent tries, but it was more interesting to learn about my uncles approach to the NRL.
He was dirty on it, big time! Super-league had killed the game, and amalgamation was only part of it.
He used to support the Illawarra Steelers, even to the extent of donating A$50 per year to the club (for no benefit !). So he was less than impressed when the "loyalty" of the club to the NRL lead to them being sucked into St. George never to be seen again.
Which I guess is why he was sporting a Rabbito's cap. They certainly are the rare example of the little Aussie battler left in Australian League.
But for all that, what he didn't know about the players, my Aunt did, so it was a highly educational and enjoyable experience for me.
And that commentator Warren (sp?), he is either 125 years old, born after his time, or did his apprenticeship with the BBC. His cultured voice was so at odds with the physicality of the game it bordered on the bizarre!
After all that, I almost forgot about the Crusaders excellent win! I was glad to see Mr. Deans to remind me!