Shhh! Just between you and me, Ned’s on a secret mission to the northern hemisphere. I’m not saying that Shag is involved, but let’s just say that it involves secret caches of Maketu Pies behind enemy lines. To cover my undercover moments, I’ve selected a few choice moments from the Road To Redemption.
Originally published 18 April 2011
On Sunday I played my first games of competitive rugby in nearly 30 years.
The fact that it was Golden Oldies rugby did not detract in any way from its competitiveness. When you pull on your boots you are straight away back to the mental preparation, thinking about running lines and tackling technique and listening to the coach’s team talk about taking it up the middle and going to ground and laying it back.
I was somewhat ready for the physical trauma (one cracked shin, one bunted finger, and sore all over), but I was surprised by how much I really really really enjoyed it all. I thought I’d be shite after such a long lay off, but I managed to do a few things right as well as more than a few things wrong. And there’s massive satisfaction in being able to do something as simple as draw and pass, putting a team mate into a gap to canter away.
And such satisfaction watching the other games, and the incredible rugby intelligence on display. Everybody knows how the game is played, how it’s meant to be played, and if the bodies aren’t quite as willing as they used to be, they can still put it in for five metres of glory.
Why have I not been doing this for the last 20 years?