Saturday, May 26, 2007

This is Rugby League...

OK, so its my team Leeds being beaten by Hull in the 2005 Challenge Cup Final at Cardiff's Millenuim Stadium but the video encapsulates what the game of Rugby League is all about and more importantly what the Challenge Cup final means to the supporters.

Hull (black and white hoops) went into that game as underdogs, it had been twenty years since they had reached the final,
but the hordes of supporters in the motorway service areas on the way to Cardiff that morning didn't appear to be lacking in confdence that their team had what it took to overturn 4/1 favourites Leeds.

Its a four hour trip from Leeds to Cardiff, five hours from Hull, we'd all had an early start that day but the 74,213 spectators who packed the enclosed three tier stadium were far from sleepy as the teams took to the field, my seat in the lower tier corner of the ground offered me a completely crap view of the game and it was made even worse by the party of Leeds supporters around me who seemed to have travelled all that way to simply drink beer, lots of it, necesitating trips to the bar and/or toilet every five minutes, disruptive was not the word.

There was never more than one score to seperate the two teams right through the game but when Leeds sneaked into the lead again with five minutes to go we breathed a sigh of relief and out on the field the team seemed to do so too, so much so that, as can be seen in the video, Hull's Paul Cooke slipped almost unnoticed through the Leeds line to score and clinch the game by one point.

To the neutral it had been one of the best finals seen in the modern Super League era and strangely enough it was to me too, despite losing, despite leaving yet another challenge cup final on the losing side I was happy to have been there to witness a great game played with 100% commitment, a rought, tough hard physical contact game played without animosity by athletic young men at the prime of their physical condition - this is the sport of rugby league and the passion displayed in this video is the reason why I have been supporting it since I was ten years old.

But why did Marcus Bai throw that pass out behind his own line ?


airliebird58 said...

I don't know how many times I've seen that video in the past, but I always bawl my eyes out! It took me about a fortnight to get over it all!
Thanks for posting it :)

Gary said...

You're welcome, whoever put it together has caught the emotion of the day.