Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Looking forward, looking back

Just returned from another circuit training session at the gym. I say "another" as if it's a regular occurrence but in fact it's only the second time I've been - and the first occasion was 4 weeks ago.

Hardly regular then, but with my next game looming large on the 22nd November I felt that desperate measures were called for - and, yes, I realise that fitness doesn't really work that way but I subscribe to the theory that something has to be better than nothing, no matter how painful.

It will come as no surprise to learn that I struggled, but what I couldn't get over is how some people simply don't appear to have sweat glands. There was I, totally and utterly drenched in sweat, whilst several others demonstrated no more than a healthy glow and some looked more or less exactly as the same as when they'd started (I console myself, of course, with the misguided notion that they couldn't have been working as hard as me).

So, with my thoughts turning to the next chapter in my great rugby odyssey, it turns out that, according to the Fullerians RFC website, in our last match their Vets team only beat us 38-5, a far better result than I had remembered (I lost count as we shipped tries late in the game, and what's more so, apparently, did the referee). Furthermore, it turns out that my opposite number in that game was a former Aussie international.

In the changing rooms after the game I heard someone mention that the opposition had an ex-international in their back row but, as I was unable to hang around after the game that day, I was unable to verify the rumour. It turns out, however, that the player in question was none other than Bill Calcraft who played in the Australian back row in the mid-eighties before captaining Oxford University in the Varsity Match. In our match I must admit he was pretty solid in the tackle and difficult to put down, and was also fairly sprightly around the park - certainly more so than yours truly although, admittedly, that's not saying much. Given that he's also a good 5 years or so older than me, hats off to him.

No doubt the match against Chesham Vets will probably go down as a career highlight for him and he'll be recounting for many a year how I was unjustly denied my try by a myopic referee...

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