The Rugby Player
By Baker Street
The player was out on the field at outside centre. The score was tied at fifteen all and there was about twenty minutes of play left. The second half was nearly done and the game was drawing to a close. He was standing in the backline waiting for the ball to emerge from the scrum. The opposing team was lying in a line of shallow defence as was their custom when expecting an onslaught from the backline. The ball was passed from the scrum-half to the fly-half and then on to the inside-centre. By this time the backline was running in full motion. The opposing side tackled the men whom they marked and his job was to beat his opposing number. He held the line as the tackler closed in on him, but at the last moment, and at full speed, he sold the man a dummy-pass. Then he changed the course of play with side-step, as light on his feet as a ballerina, and opened up the throttle on his new course. With a roar of appreciation the crowd went wild. There was only one player left to beat before he crossed the try line; and that was the full-back. With the speed and agility of a true centre he beat this man as well with another well-timed side-step. The crowd roared once more. His speed and power carried him the last few paces over the try-line and there was no-one to stop him as he nonchalantly went and made the touchdown underneath the posts, making it an easy kick for the fly-half. With a bit of luck, and with time running out, he might well have scored the winning try for his side. However, like a true professional, he quickly returned to his position in the back-line while the conversion was dealt with and an extra two points added to the score. The game was more or less in the bag, but as all players knew; ‘the show aint over till the fat lady sings.’
The action resumed once more as they waited for the hour glass to run empty, and they were all discipline and business once more. The kick-off was taken and the game resumed with all the glory of that final try. Today, as often before; thirteen was his lucky number...