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Mostly to do with upsetting people that matter to me – Our Gert and the kids.  But they all predicate on two principles – things I’ve said or done which I shouldn’t have and things I haven’t said or done with I should have.  But it might be a measure of my superficiality that my mind keeps returning to a school rugby match over 50 years ago.

I was playing as an open side flanker.  They had a line-out on their 25 yard line (as was) which they won.  Their jumper played it off the top to their scrum half who fed it back to their stand-off.  (If you don’t understand what I am talking about I suggest you enrich your life a little more by following rugby.)

As soon as the line-out was lost I launched myself from the back of it towards their stand-off in the hope of flattening him as he collected the classic “man and ball” hospital pass.

That never happened though.  Instead I got a hand on their scrum half’s pass to him and intercepted it.  Effectively I was now through and with their entire defence barring their fullback behind me.

As well as myself, our hooker, Kitchen, had burst through their line and sprinted alongside me about 5 yards to my right.

So, we had a 2-on-1 with their fullback who, as it happens, I knew.  He was a useless,little fat fucker called Ross.  I could see the terror in his eyes as he realised he was his sides only forlorn hope of stopping the inevitable try.

As I closed in on him, fellow rugby enthusiasts will appreciate I had the classic three options gifted to a player in this 2-on-1 situation.

1          I could chip the ball over him and either me or Kitch would collect and stroll in for the try.

2          I could side-step him, probably by selling a dummy towards Kitch, and stroll in for the try.

3          I could do the sensible thing and, as I approached him, pass it out to Kitch who would stroll in for the try.

But this is about regrets as you’ll recollect and will no doubt have guessed, none of these happened.  That’s not to say I didn’t choose one and it may surprise you that I was the safe and sensible Option 3.  But instead of unleashing a classic spin pass arrowed towards Kitch what came out was a bumbling, bungling girlie effort which grubbed along the ground to touch.

Up to that point I had been one of the better players on the pitch but I was deservedly dropped for the next match.

You will gather from the level of detail that I recollect here that I have not spent these last 50 years in unforgiving and embarrassed regret.






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John Coopey

Mon 30th Jan 2023 10:00

You’re quite right, Stephen; “side-step” overcooks it a little. Rather it would have described a gentle parabola. Even so, enough to have left the lardarse rooted like an oak tree.
And thanks for the Likes, Nigel, Red Brick and Stephen A.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 30th Jan 2023 08:57

At least the full back didn't intercept it and run the length of the field for a try, John. Not that it sounds as though he could have.
I like the options. Flank forwards doing side steps? You were way ahead of your time.

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John Coopey

Sun 29th Jan 2023 14:43

You see, Trevor, this has been a memory for you to treasure for a lifetime. Whereas mine is a haunting.

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Trevor Alexander

Sun 29th Jan 2023 14:04

Reminds me of a similar occasion in my rugby career, except I was the full-back being menaced by two ginormous forwards bearing down on me under our posts. Being somewhat averse to hospital food, I reckoned the safest option was to play for an interception that would result in less pain to the body. I mean, both these guys were about twice my size. Imagine my amazement when the ball landed in my speculatively outstretched hand, whereupon I rapidly launched it to touch. Of course I was lauded as a hero, but I knew it was born of sheer cowardice!

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