please empty your brain below

First in and spot on the money, dg, as ever.

There is nothing more to be said on this subject.

I'll be watching, and hoping for an England win, but only because my employer sponsors them and I feel like I have to. (Watch and support that is). But I agree with you, proper football is much better, it's just a pity our proper football lads never make it to the finals of anything ...

I give it a maximum of 30 minutes before some tedious arse comes up with the "gentleman's game played by savages" crap.

It's strange how "top class" rugby games every week, attended by a crowd equivalent to a Scottish third division fixture, yet come the world cup or six nations, there are thousands of rugbores. I hope South Africa win today, or this tedious fascination with a minority sport will go on for weeks. If rugby was a worthwhile sport, then there's no way that England would be able to get to the world final.

Um, actually that would be Jonny's left foot.

At school I was playing playground football when someone accidently kicked my hand and dislocated my finger. I was taken to A&E. At the end of the treatment I asked the doctor if I could still play rugby. He assured me there was no reason to stop playing and he must have seen my extreme disappointment. I have always been grateful to the guy who kicked me and to the doctor who wrote a totally unwarranted letter excusing me from rugby for the rest of the year.

Heh, heh. Excellent , me too.

I do sometimes wonder if I'd be quite so antagonistic if I hadn't had to play it at school...mind you I also had to play cricket and have nothing in particular against that.

Silly game, really don't care who wins.

Rugby is a brutal horrible game with occasional moments of sheer poetry. I enjoy watching it and thank god I'm a woman. Can't take it seriously though.

Dreadfully boring game in my opinion. I could not care less who wins. Just wish the football team could do as well.

But aren't the shorts short this year? (I only saw a bit on the news and I was shocked)

Spot on. England are only winning by cynically slowing down the game and sneaking a 1-0 free kick win. Makes Mourinho-style Chelsea look fun.

And let's get this one in too - the only reason rugby union players don't argue with the ref is that the players don't understand the rules any more than the rest of us. But that won't stop the commentators from the predictable sanctimony, will it?

I think rugby's everything you said DG and I won't be watching it (it'll be 5am here anyway) BUT I do hope England wins just to shut these aussies up! And we have to win something!!!

Those modern shorts are useless. They're made of high-tech tear-proof fabric. No fun at all.

because it's a well known fact that football supporters never drink too much before, during or after a match and the songs they sing are very tasteful *roars with laughter*

Tut! I hated playing it at school - I lacked the coordination, height and fitness required, but to watch it is pure magic. I can't even cope with ten minutes of the other variety (and I don't mean League), it's just so boring.

I'm suprised it hasn't won you over for its other merits.

"I really couldn't give a damn who wins - life's less disappointing that way."

That's one of the saddest things I've read for a while.

I'm going to take the opposing view.

I loathe football and what's even sadder than organised violence on the pitch? It's got to be the disorganized violence and bad feeling of some football 'fans'.

You'll never find that at a rugby match. It's good natured, sporting rivalry. No mindless, tribal yobs beating the hell out of or intimidating each other.

Last night's game wasn't a great one, I'll admit, but I was proud to support 'our boys' and they've done extremely well and gotten much further than anyone expected.

Yes rugby is a bloody, quite violent sport but compared to the overpaid, primadonna footie players, diving in front of the ref, I know what I prefer.

ALL professional team sports are rubbish. When the team represents just itself (rather than something solid, like a physical community) and when anyone can be a supporter, it represents nothing. It's just an excuse to be deranged in a crowd.

Individual sports (tennis, golf, athletics, boxing etc) mean far more. At least one has the gladiatorial element, 'mano a mano'.

But then I'm an individualist rather than a socialist; I hate the insanity of crowds.

Well done again DG. I'm actually getting a bit frightened that you always hit a nerve so to speak. I also only found out about rugby at my new school aged 11 and also tried to get the hell out of the way, and also once scored a try to everyone's amazement. Roll on 2010 for the proper world cup, though shame we're highly unlikely to get to the final in that one (as it is actually a world game)

He he. I guess if rugby wasn't so tied up with class in England, then more might support it. English tribalism to the fore, once again. How can anyone hate something that doesn't affect them?

Myself, I get a bit bored watching nothing-much-happening as the round ball moves around the field for 90 minutes. I certainly don't hate football, but any game where one side's supporters would like to knife the opposition supporters is not a game for me. Where's the beauty in that?'

Anyway: well done your lads, for making the final ("we" didn't). Shame your Scottish Prime Minister (who lost the sight in one eye playing rugby, I believe) did not get the photo op he was after...

I'm sorry, you point out how rugby is taken too seriously by far too many men - as opposed to football? Where grown supporters beat the shit out of each other for what is JUST A GAME! Rugby is a sport of great planning, performing and training and takes an awful lot of talent.

All I can say is that at least rugby players aren't the overpaid prima donna's of football who drop down onto the field and scream blue murder if someone accidently steps on their toe.

Rugby is a proper sport, football used to be until the players became more interested in the cash and lifestyle than the actual sport.

I went to the Birkenhead Institute High School formerly a Grammar and before that a Private school. They had a long (200+ years) tradition of Rugby and I vaguely remember an England Team Shirt outside the Head's office of some ex-pupil or other. In the history of the school I am the only pupil never to have played rugby because at the time I was undergoing extensive and (tho NHS funded) bloody expensive orthodontic work, and the consultant banned me from playing. Result!

"It's just 80 minutes of controlled violence"


That's what's so great about it. But only when played by unfit, slightly too old, corpulent men, on a muddy pitch, watched by two swans, a lost dog and a slightly seedy looking chap with binoculars.

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