Tuesday, October 09, 2012

In praise of Paul Wood

Would have commented before today, but my eyes have been watering too much to see the screen. I want to write a post in praise of Paul Wood, who played for Warrington Wolves against Leeds Rhinos in last weekend's Grand Final. I watched the fearsome game played between two sides willing to put their lives on the line. I never played rugby league competitively myself, except in training when I played for Shrewsbury RUFC. It helped put pace and urgency into our game. I was built for it. Loved it.

Anyway, on Saturday, Paul ran full tilt into a Rhino named Callum Watkins whose knee came up, scrunched into his 'groin' and smashed one of his testicles. Ronaldo, Suarez or Ashley Young would still be rolling on the ground in tears two days later. Paul just got up and played on. "Really bad pain" he said, "but it was the Grand Final". He'd trained to play through pain. He was conditioned to have the mental toughness to play on no matter what. He carried on for 20 minutes, then stayed to congratulate and shake hands with the Leeds players. Then he went to hospital to have his ruptured testicle removed.

When Peter Allen asked him on Drive the next day whether everything was in full working order, he laughed and said he had not tried it out fully yet. All that mattered was that this removal would not have a negative impact on his ability to play. Paul Wood and rugby players generally play the game to the sometimes brutal limit, and with incredibly good sportsmanship. What a shame it is that those wonderfully talented fit men who play top quality football have been indoctrinated to dive, cheat and generally behave like petulant wooses.   

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