Oh dear. That was the scoreline at the end of GP2’s first ever rugby match last Sunday. It wasn’t the team’s first match, despite what the scoreline might suggest. But they were playing a team from Gala, in the Borders, and, as you’ll all know, Borders lads are farmers’ sons and built like tractors. Or cow sheds. Huge, in any case, and surely twice the size of their opponents. There was plenty of ducking and weaving but this was mostly from the Ross High team in their efforts to avoid tackling the trains that came hurtling towards them, clutching the ball, no need to pass as they banged down yet another try. I don’t blame them – I’d have dived for cover at the first whistle.
Still, he said he’d enjoyed it, despite the bitter wind, tucked away safely out on the wing, and he got his hands on the ball once for a nanosecond before off-loading in the face of another juggernaut. Good strategy – let someone else get tackled! GP2, by the way, is one of the smaller boys in his year.
This first ever rugby match took place an hour and a half after the regular Sunday morning football match. Football has been his passion since he was a six year old so it was something of a surprise when he announced in the New Year that he was taking up rugby. Or maybe basketball. (He’s small, remember.) Or perhaps both. Yes, let’s do both – a lot of his school mates are doing both. It’s entirely laudable, I’m sure you’ll agree, to take part in plenty of sport with his friends. It’s just that he already swims twice a week, plays badminton, tennis, squash and football and then there’s the brass band. Pushy parent that I am, I’m expected to go along with it and act as primary facilitator. Chauffeur, in other words.
I could perhaps use homework as an excuse to cut down on all the driving that’s required. “You won’t have time for your school work! You’ll have to give something up!” But, unlike his older brother, he’s getting top marks in everything with deceptive ease and Parents’ Evening was a real praise-fest. So we’ll carry on with the lot for a little while until we see how it pans out and what really fits in. But there will have to be choices made at some point. Rugby or football? Life’s tough when you’re 13.