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Juris Graney - Rugby Head

As seen in today's Northern Pen - Welcome to the wonderful world of rugby Did you know at around 4am last Wednesday, Canada won their opening match of this year’s Rugby World Cup (RWC) against Tonga? And did you know there are two Newfoundlanders in that team? No? If I’m to be brutally honest, I wasn’t aware that Frank Walsh or Ciaran Hearn, both of St. John’s, were in the national team either, but I’ve been aware of this RWC since the final whistle was blown in Paris, France, in 2007. Back then South Africa hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup with a victory over England (thank the rugby gods for that because there is nothing worse than victorious English ruby fans, except perhaps the annual bleating by Leafs fans about how they are destined to win the Stanley Cup. Give it up already). Nevertheless, you would think local boys playing for the national team at the preeminent rugby tournament in the world would draw some attention. Unfortunately not. Rugby isn’t big in these parts, and I accept that, but it’s a great shame, because those of us from rugby playing nations (in my case Australia) follow the sport as rabidly as Canadians follow the NHL and the Winter Olympics combined. That’s why you will find Northern Hemisphere-based rugbyphiles perched around dodgy buffering internet connections (or, for the blessed few with TSN2, around the television) at ungodly hours, eyes hanging out of our heads, IV-drip pumping caffeine direct into our bloodstream, screaming at the television as though in a Don Cherry or Rex…

Photo : Juris Graney September 19, 2011