Popular, Sports

9 rugby world cup problems (for people who don’t know about rugby)

There’s, like, a sporty thing happening at the moment. Fans are really excited. but there’s a huge load of people for whom the Rugby World Cup kind of felt like it happened out of nowhere and now, in the lead-up to what is apparently an essential England Vs. Australia match, these are some of the problems they might be experiencing:

1. People around you have started doing crazy maths that doesn’t really make any sense.

“So, if Wales beat Fiji, and England score nineteen points, and get three tries before 9pm, and Chelsea win some football, and if two thousand Scotland fans eat a bacon sandwich at exactly the same time then England might be able to come second in their group, but then if Australia score-”
Just tell me if we’re winning.
All across the nation entire stadiums full of people sit in silence as they try to work out whether winning a game means they’re still in the com. And this is why we should have listened to our maths teachers.

2. You want England to do well but you’re also scared that Australia will set their animals on you if they lose.

I mean, obviously having a nice gold trophy is lovely, but have you seen what those Aussies have to put up with? What if we anger them and they set their legions of terrifying creatures on us? We can’t help but slightly fear that if we beat them at rugby we’ll be inundated with dinner-plate-sized spiders and man-eating sharks before we know it.

3. Your actual TV time is being taken up.

It feels like the entire nation is into the rugby. And that’s awesome. You fully support this kind of unity and team spirit. But, at the same time, it’s kind of inconvenient that you don’t always know exactly when Corrie’s starting. I mean, priorities guys. Come on.

4. Welsh and Scottish people are suddenly gleeful for reasons you don’t understand.

You have friends who are Welsh, Scottish, Aussie, whatever. Or,in some cases, friends that sound as London as you do and were born in the same hospital as you but declared themselves to be Welsh when they beat England because their great-grandad lived there for a couple of months one summer. But anyway, they greet you with a twinkle in their eyes and barely contained glee in their voices, and you want to share this joke with them, you do. But you can’t play the part of the frustrated sports fan like they want you to because, well, you just …. Can’t get upset.

5. You keep reading newspaper articles comparing rugby players…

…And you definitely want to read all of the statistics and facts about them. But at the same time your brain immediately engages in a game of ‘who’s hotter?’ and it quite often ends with the wrong team winning.

6. Some people can’t talk about England V. Australia without bringing up old victories, regardless of  the sport.

“Yeah, it’ll be a tough match. But you know what wasn’t tough? That time we got them all out for 60.”
“Really? I didn’t think you could do that in rugby”
“No, that was in the cricket.”
But we were talking about rugby. Come on, dude. I’m barely able to continue this conversation about the first sport I’m trying to understand.

7. People have suddenly started talking about bonuses?

It sounds really exciting, because you hear  the word ‘bonus’, and that either means it’s Christmas, you’re getting money, or you’re getting something for free. And then it turns out that it’s actually some kind of scoring thing that not only sounds quite difficult to actually achieve, but that also makes all of the weird and arbitrary maths even harder to understand.

8. You can’t actually watch half of what’s going on.

It’s all going so well and then boom. Somebody smashes into somebody else and it looks really bloody painful, and you shut your eyes, and when you open them again everything’s stopped, and then there’s another scrum and then somebody smashes into somebody else again and… It just goes on forever. Between big pauses and big pile-ups, it’s a tricky watch.

9. You love a stirring song and an inspirational sporting story as much as the next person.

The thing is, while the game itself can be kind of a drag, you love the leadup. Twickenham should probably sell tickets just for people who only want to be there for the national anthems, and the cheering, and the players welling up. Then we could go home, inspired and a bit emotional, and use that energy for something else. Maybe achieving a goal at the gym, or maybe just a really, really inspired takeaway order. It’s your energy.You use it how you please.

It’s a difficult time for a lot of us, but (we think) the Rugby World Cup is nearly out of the group stages. And that means there’s probably a bit less time to go until it’s all over? To be honest, we’re really not sure. It’s all very long and complicated. Stay strong, everybody.

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