Nutta's Navel Gazing - Half - Green and Gold Rugby
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Nutta’s Navel Gazing – Half

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Nutta’s Navel Gazing – Half

The little Prop just could not sleep because his thoughts were way too deep, his mind had gone out for a stroll and fallen down the rabbit hole…

Continuing the adventure with Half, Scrum-Half, Half-Back, Smart-Half, Half-Hole… whatever. They wear 9.

Some may find it surprising, but I like 9. The true first-principles of their role heartens me on so many levels. If only the incumbents were generally worthy of the love…

See the 9 is a midget among giants and it truly takes a mad bravery to do as they do. And thus they deserve love. They carry tremendous responsibility and act as the coordinating lynch-pin between Forwards and Backs. They are entrusted to befriend the Referee, possess passing accuracy on both sides worthy of SEAL Team 6, kick short and long off both feet and possess Steve Bradbury opportunism to take advantage of lazy defenders.

Well that’s the theory anyway. The reality is that watching the No9 is a bit of David Attenborough rabbit-eludes-wolf experience where you sit there shaking your head saying “How the Hell did he pull that off?”

For instance the No9 stands under the lineout jumper anticipating a ball that will be thrown anywhere but where it should be, knowing all the while they will have to regather and snap off a snipers pass in microseconds to some breezy 10 (who won’t be paying attention) in-time to take evasive action himself to elude the opposing Psychotic No7 and the Deranged No2 coming at him with their own visions of enacting the Pincer-of-Death manoeuvre on his skinny ass, more akin to WWE wrestling than any game of gentlemen.

Alternatively, Halves get to root around the base of a ruck to rip their own ball clear whilst praying to Dear God and the Referee that no Lock of Chew Backa proportions comes through the centre of the corpse-strewn bone-yard to put a shoulder in his teeth because “He played the ball Sir! He played the ball Sir!”

Physically, 9’s tend to be little as apparently this makes it easier to get down low and close to the ball. It also helps them elude late & high shots from opposing breakaways.

Genia - perfect 9 stature

Genia – perfect 9 stature

 

They also tend to be the teams biggest ‘Toucher’. This isn’t a reference to call Child-Services or Police, but is an acknowledgement that they touch the ball more often than anyone else does. That said, the position does seem to attract disproportionate numbers of school-teachers from the Catholic education system, so you go-figure.

Speaking of the Police, Halves also tend to talk very fast, wear white shoes and often seem disproportionately cashed-up. This frequently leads to fellow team-mates wondering just how good a Chemistry teacher their No9 really is and wondering where exactly he gets all that energy from.

Anyway, to the casual on-looker they puff-up and prance about throwing orders at the Ogres (Forwards) whilst screaming at the Fairies (the Fairies) to “Reload”.

Whilst the truth is that in reality their skills are generally developed as a Darwinian measure of survivability, whilst their incessant crap-chat, mixed with self-imposed self-importance and more than a dash of smart-arsery means they are frequently the generator of punch-ups that they happily start but then bugger-off and leave to the Front-row to finish.

Their favourite laugh is being sure they pinch the ball from a scrum before the No8 picks it up and their favourite word is to shriek “Reload, RELOAD, RELOAD!” in ever-increasing intensity at the No10 whilst being gob-smackingly blasé about the inevitable counter-ruck coming to decapitate them.

Favourite drink: Coke with acid

Politics: Pablo Escobar had his shite together but Dude are your holding… ?

  • Hitcho

    Great read :)… but shouldn’t it read the 9 gets to root around in a disabled toilet instead of base of the ruck?

    • Who?

      Only Kiwi 9’s.

      • Nutta

        Pretty sure they don’t own that particular franchise 100%

  • Proud Pig

    I have often said that if there was one rule that should be added to the game (excluding making wingers wear skirts obviously), it is that each member of the front row should be allowed to punch one half-back a game, the side the half-back plays for is irrelevant.

    • Nutta

      I rarely advocate violence but rucking your own 9 is double points

  • Yowie

    Great write-up.

  • Greg

    Loving these write-ups @disqus_vjuclDn4w7:disqus

    Even though the 9s look like tiny little runts, I met Nick Farr-Jones once and he was about 6 foot even. The reason he looked like a midget on the field was that the pack was enormous…. and the backs were off having a latte.

    • Xaviera

      Yep – he was the first of a new generation of bigger 9s. The late Joost was another in that mould.

  • Xaviera

    Reminds me of Gregan’s chat with Joobers during a Super rugby match in Canberra.

    You know the one. Joobers is relatively new to Super rugby at this point, and has had enough of all the chat from the Brumbies (and in particular, George), so he pulls George aside, as he was the captain, and has a little man to man chat.
    Joobers: “George. This isn’t working. There are 15 referees out here”
    George: “Yeah, and you’re not even in the Top 10!”.

    Gold!

Humour

Underfed front-rower with no speed or ball skills. Started playing footy in the 70's and still going. Can't remember the last time I passed on a ball, beer or karaoke mike. Motto - "Meat and potatoes first. Then gravy. And you don't put gravy on the plate first Boy."

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