Union to League back again.
My learning journey into the world of rugby league has lead me all over the place, as far as I can see the differences or similarities between the codes of rugby union, which is my first love, and rugby league which is beginning to be more than just a flirtation, are actually very small.
The players have the same sporting attitudes, the actual rules are very similar, even the object is the same, yet still we have this divide between rugby union and rugby league which I just still haven’t managed to fathom out fully, however I have come to one conclusion, to me it seems that rugby league has for some strange reason been underfunded for such a long time and whereas rugby union is feted by the whole nation, rugby league has almost always come in a poor second in the financial stakes, struggling as it has to even find permanent bases in the past. Hopefully, this is very much in the past and if only rugby league could get as much coverage in the media as rugby union does it would most certainly become recognized as the inspirational sport it deserves to be.
Having looked closely at the two codes one of the most exciting discoveries I made was the players, legendary players such as Martin Offiah, Nicknamed by his teammates’ chariots of fire after the famous film because he was so fast that fire and sparks supposedly came from his boots when he ran.
Watching on YouTube old footage of fantastic games showing Martin Offiah putting the opposition to shame with his dazzling turn of speed and then reading Martin scored an incredible 501 tries during his rugby league career which actually makes him one of the three highest try scorers ever, a man I can remember watching on a Saturday afternoon delighting us all with his speed and skill and for some reason I never really made the connection that he was rugby league I was simply happy to be watching such a talented and gifted player entertaining us.
Then to watch incredible rugby union players achieving great things made me realize that there should really be no differences made between the two codes, neither being better than the other and I’m so happy to have carried out this exercise for the last six weeks and been able to come to the conclusion that I have.
All that remains this week is to wish the London Broncos the best of luck in the game against the Swinton Lions this coming Sunday and long may they continue to make us all proud with their achievements and sportsmanship.
Next week I’ll be having a look at the history and winners behind some of the most prestigious prizes in rugby league and the history of rugby league in London, another subject I didn’t know much about until I embarked on this journey.
In closing this week I need to wish Eddie Jones and the guys good luck with their game on Saturday.
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Mike Molloy, is an experienced freelance professional writer & Author
He regularly writes blog content on a variety of topics including food, hotels, travel & skiing to primary school pupil literacy and more.
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