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30 years of my rugby life

  • 21-09-2018 12:41am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 12,335 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    Getting all nostalgic now but it was about this time 30 years ago that I played my first ever game of rugby union. Back in the day you didn't get paid to play, you could get into Lansdowne Road for £6, Fred Cogley commentated, there was no lifting in the line out and you only got 4 points for a try.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,343 ✭✭✭✭ mfceiling


    Getting all nostalgic now but it was about this time 30 years ago that I played my first ever game of rugby union. Back in the day you didn't get paid to play, you could get into Lansdowne Road for £6, Fred Cogley commentated, there was no lifting in the line out and you only got 4 points for a try.

    Now I'm old. I started playing 32 years ago. Played schools and then a small bit after that. Forwards were easy enough tackled as they were large but fairly unathletic!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,218 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    It's about 30 years for me too since I started playing Minis. Club rugby was the biggest show in town then. I remember the AIL starting and the likes of Garryowen, Cork Con and Shannon being these massive mystical clubs from down south who Ulster teams hardly ever played.

    The first Ireland game I went to was against Scotland in the late 80s, all I remember about it is that we lost.

    The next Ireland game I went to was a few years later (1993 I think), England at home, a famous win, Mick Galway with the winning try. It's mad to think that during the 1990s that apart from two wins over England in '93 and '94 the only other significant team we beat was Wales. The twentysomething's today don't know how lucky they are with this Ireland team and the one that preceded it!

    My first Ulster game was against the All Blacks at Ravenhill, I think it was 1989. The place was rammed, people were literally sitting in the edge of the pitch. Great memories.

    I've just realised I've officially become an old fart.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,737 ✭✭✭ jacothelad


    When I started a try was 3 points and if you got tackled into touch you got the throw in (which the winger usually took)...as you were not responsible for the stoppage. You could kick to touch from anywhere which often led to dreadful games with dozens of l/o's. Refs wore blazers and your shorts had pockets for your handkerchiefs and often, cigarettes.:D:D:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,218 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    jacothelad wrote: »
    When I started a try was 3 points and if you got tackled into touch you got the throw in (which the winger usually took)...as you were not responsible for the stoppage. You could kick to touch from anywhere which often led to dreadful games with dozens of l/o's. Refs wore blazers and your shorts had pockets for your handkerchiefs and often, cigarettes.:D:D:D

    There's no way you're that young Jaco!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,899 ✭✭✭✭ BBDBB


    The clatter of studs on the tiles as you all trooped out into the frosty air,
    the smell of ralgex in your nostrils,
    the smokers coughs hacking away and the shouts of encouragement to get everyone going, the grass stretched out before you as you ran out,
    a few muffled claps and shouts from gloved hands in the crowd....ha, crowd! a few dads and a dog who'd go mental barking every time the ball went near him.
    Lots of laughs,
    tough hits,
    battered and bruised, all ailments fixed by a freezing cold sponge of water down the affected parts.
    Scandalous decisions by the ref met with a polite query and the term "sir" every time
    Forming a tunnel of players to clap the opposition off the field, win lose or draw
    into the bar as quick as you could,
    players steaming from the showers,
    animated chat and bruises to show,
    tales of the battle and piss takes that had you crying with laughter
    pints of squash first and then beer
    watching the final scores come in on the small box of a telly in the high corner on the wall

    magic days


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,899 ✭✭✭✭ BBDBB


    jacothelad wrote: »
    When I started a try was 3 points and if you got tackled into touch you got the throw in (which the winger usually took)...as you were not responsible for the stoppage. You could kick to touch from anywhere which often led to dreadful games with dozens of l/o's. Refs wore blazers and your shorts had pockets for your handkerchiefs and often, cigarettes.:D:D:D


    heres Jaco on his way to the game

    giphy.gif


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,371 ✭✭✭✭ molloyjh


    BBDBB wrote: »
    heres Jaco on his way to the game

    giphy.gif

    That's quite the fetching dress he's wearing. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,079 ✭✭✭ OldRio


    1967 for me. We had letters on the back of our shirts not numbers. I remember the cold, always fecking cold. Frozen pitches, frozen fingers, 3 inches of snow on the ground.
    God I feel cold now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,711 ✭✭✭✭ Interested Observer


    Would have played my first match just over 20 years ago now. Not sure the exact year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,585 ✭✭✭✭ stephen_n


    My first game was 1980, we started playing in second class, didn’t take long before it was the only thing I enjoyed about school. Finally stopped playing last year, though that’s a decision I’m strongly reconsidering at the moment.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,795 ✭✭✭ Digifriendly


    Started watching rugby in late 1960's. Ulster then only played about 6 matches a year, all in the autumn period - vs Lancashire/Yorkshire/incoming tourist team and inter pros. From memory going back into 1970's these matches were well attended and the great attraction were NZ who I saw first in 1972 at Ravenhill. I remember seeing a star studded Lancashire team put Ulster to the sword in 1979 and that team formed the core of the Northern Division that beat the All Blacks a short time afterward and a number went on to win the GS with England in the following spring.
    I was there when the touring Australians were beaten in 1984 and saw Ulster spank both Fiji and Canada under the lights. I remember Ulster's great unbeaten run under Jimmy Davidson as well as their unbeaten streak in the Interpros which they won in the late 1980's and early 1990's a number of times in succession. Great memories indeed.
    Best memory - David Humphreys spectacular try to help see off a classy Stade Francais side in the Heineken Cup semi-final on the way to winning the trophy in 1999.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,218 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    Started watching rugby in late 1960's. Ulster then only played about 6 matches a year, all in the autumn period - vs Lancashire/Yorkshire/incoming tourist team and inter pros. From memory going back into 1970's these matches were well attended and the great attraction were NZ who I saw first in 1972 at Ravenhill. I remember seeing a star studded Lancashire team put Ulster to the sword in 1979 and that team formed the core of the Northern Division that beat the All Blacks a short time afterward and a number went on to win the GS with England in the following spring.
    I was there when the touring Australians were beaten in 1984 and saw Ulster spank both Fiji and Canada under the lights. I remember Ulster's great unbeaten run under Jimmy Davidson as well as their unbeaten streak in the Interpros which they won in the late 1980's and early 1990's a number of times in succession. Great memories indeed.
    Best memory - David Humphreys spectacular try to help see off a classy Stade Francais side in the Heineken Cup semi-final on the way to winning the trophy in 1999.

    Humphreys try against Stade would be my favourite as well. I was right behind the posts at the end he scored.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,795 ✭✭✭ Digifriendly


    bilston wrote: »
    Humphreys try against Stade would be my favourite as well. I was right behind the posts at the end he scored.

    Yes I well remember the extra seating brought in especially for this match as the ground had to have a 20,000 + capacity to host a semi final. One of the great days in Ulster rugby. The final itself while a great occasion was too one sided to call it a great match.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,335 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    OldRio wrote: »
    1967 for me. We had letters on the back of our shirts not numbers.

    Piss off back to Leicester like a good man :)


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    Started around 1995 so I'm feeling younger with every post - keep going!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,079 ✭✭✭ OldRio


    Piss off back to Leicester like a good man :)

    Saint Michaels School in Middlesbrough to be precise.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,335 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    A couple of things that spring to mind.
    • On a trip to my cousin in the North, I was gifted his old Adidas boots, which had steel caps in them no less. For a long time I was the only player in the team with such a luxury. I hadn't got proper rugby shorts for ages but God, I had steel caps!
    • Wintergreen. My one true non rugby love.
    • Leinster vs New Zealand in 1989 on a Wednesday afternoon was my first trip to see the silver fern. Back then a touring side played the provinces in Ireland. Our tickets cost the grant sum of 50P, which was two cans of Coke or two Tayto and a Chomp in the tuck shop. For an extra 50P upgrade I got into the upper deck of the East Stand, where I got a fine view of Gus Ahern's kick back footing Tuigimala that John Sexton grounded for the sole Irish try that tour.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,309 ✭✭✭ Dave_The_Sheep


    Broke my nose in the mid 90s in a game against some team playing in white, in the snow, was cold. I recall making two try saving tackles against some slippery ****er from Seapoint in a game against the year above us. Played for Barnhall.

    Under 12s.

    Haven't played since. Went back to pre-season when I was 33, but I've a dodgy knee so bailed out shamefully early. My biggest regret in life is not sticking with it as a young lad. Well, that and not recognising signals from various girls back in the day. But other than that, biggest regret.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,079 ✭✭✭ OldRio


    How the hell did I forget about Wintergreen. Utter nostalgia. Sweat and wintergreen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,585 ✭✭✭✭ stephen_n


    Wintergreen which did f all when you were on the pitch, but burned the legs off you after you had your shower :pac:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,000 ✭✭✭ kuang1


    I never played. Was never given the option.
    Came from a family with a strong GAA background so that's all I ever played.

    Would certainly do it differently if I had my time over.

    But a memory I have that's very much rugby related is playing U-12 & U-14 matches at the weekends, (this would be late 80's) and there'd be lads playing with me who would have come straight from a rugby game. Their legs were covered in mud and they'd be trying to clean them discreetly in the back of the bus on the way to the match.
    If they were seen with muddy legs then it would be assumed that they were playing something else other than GAA that morning and hence would get a bollocking and not be allowed play!

    I remember noting even back then how that culture of thinking didn't work both ways.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,927 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatFromHue


    While we're doing some nostalgia George Hook's Hooked on Rugby documentary is up on youtube and it's a lovely watch.

    He has his faults but he's a great orator and loves his rugby.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,191 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    kuang1 wrote: »
    I never played. Was never given the option.
    Came from a family with a strong GAA background so that's all I ever played.

    Would certainly do it differently if I had my time over.

    But a memory I have that's very much rugby related is playing U-12 & U-14 matches at the weekends, (this would be late 80's) and there'd be lads playing with me who would have come straight from a rugby game. Their legs were covered in mud and they'd be trying to clean them discreetly in the back of the bus on the way to the match.
    If they were seen with muddy legs then it would be assumed that they were playing something else other than GAA that morning and hence would get a bollocking and not be allowed play!

    I remember noting even back then how that culture of thinking didn't work both ways.

    My dad insisted I play 1 year of soccer before taking up rugby. I started in 1987 which coincided with the first RWC in NZ. Just really liked running and tackling. As a kid I was super quick with a step. Lost all that once I hit the teens. Biggest regret is waiting until 38 to play again after calling it quits at 16.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,335 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    stephen_n wrote: »
    Wintergreen which did f all when you were on the pitch, but burned the legs off you after you had your shower :pac:

    Props lube as it used to called. Funny you mention having it it in the shower :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,585 ✭✭✭✭ stephen_n


    Props lube as it used to called. Funny you mention having it it in the shower :pac:

    Clearly I didn’t go to your school :eek:


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