In Praise of a Game - Maurice Leyland

In Praise of a Game

The game always starts with a sharp whistle blast
from the ref - the boss – all-powerful, all-knowing.
An accurate boot propels the ball high
One team waits tensely, the other gets going

Following the ball at all possible speed.
Defenders prepare with all senses alert,
to catch and control is the aim of the game;
to conquer the foe, have pride in the shirt

You hear bones crunch, with boar-like grunts
When tackles are made to stop onward thrust
of powerful opponents travelling at speed;
gym-hours have given them bodies they trust.

Dead-lifts, bench presses and endless squats
to ready their physique for all future stress,
all planned and aimed to strengthen all parts,
tone every muscle quite near to excess.

Agility and speed give us rugby’s main thrills,
side-step, swerve and gazelle-jinks galore.
These are the skills shown by super-fit backs,
with speed off the mark they’re certain to score.

Team-work is the secret for winning of games.
Moves are well-drilled, they should work like a dream;
give and take passes all at full-tilt,
score many tries and become a great team.