Please leave my 'crappy' local rugby club out of the gender wars

·3-min read
Club rugby fans, pictured here in Manly.
Many fans would rather go to a game of club rugby that watch the Aussie side - men or women. Image: AJF Photography

The front-page pointer on the Sunday paper screamed: 'What do you do when men are being d*cks – my pub brush with toxic blokes.'

The headline inside said it was a story 'every man in Australia should read today'.

So, I did what I was told.

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The subject centred on toxic male masculinity and men's sense of entitlement, on this occasion ownership of a pub pool table.

It was a decent read and brought up some valid points…but lost me a bit once I reached the tail-end.

Describing the men who had invaded the pool table area, the writer said they were "the sort of blokes who would rather barrack for a crappy local men's rugby club than watch the Australian women's sevens rugby team despite them being the best in the world."

Huh? That's me.

The day before I read the article, I’d watched a game of club rugby.

There was nothing crappy about this one, although I've sat through several games where sticking chilli-coated chopsticks in your eyes would be more entertaining.

But even if the women's sevens team was playing across the road, I'd still pick the club rugby match every time.

Same goes if it was the men's sevens teams, a Super Rugby side or the Wallabies.

Aussie players, pictured here after winning the Women's World Rugby Sevens tournament in Canada.
Aussie players celebrate after winning the Women's World Rugby Sevens tournament in Canada. (Photo by DON MACKINNON/AFP via Getty Images)

Gender doesn’t come into it

I'd also give up a good NRL game, a feed at a fancy restaurant or free tickets to the latest stage show for my hit of club rugby.

I'm not alone. I know a bloke who quit a well-paying job because it impacted his club rugby viewing.

Another mate, who owns his own business, sweats on the draw coming out each year so he can put work rosters together ensuring he's free every Saturday afternoon.

One friend even sends his wife the fixture list with red circles around the dates he will be unavailable for anything but emergencies.

Late August/early September is a no travel period just in case there's a minor miracle and our team is in with a shot of winning a comp.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, pictured here speaking to his players at a training session.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie speaks to his players at a training session. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

We're all pathetically addicted to the cold beer, colder pies and the camaraderie club rugby provides.

Even if, at times over the years, our mob has been a 'crappy local men's club'.

Like all amateur or semi-amateur clubs around the country, they're run by a dedicated bunch of volunteers who give plenty and ask for nothing in return.

Their No.1 supporter is an 88-year-old woman who has attended games every year since she was 14.

They are also a club with a healthy women's rugby program and run an annual fundraiser directing money to a local women's shelter.

Doesn’t sound too crappy to me at all.

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