News from the sidelines

Coopers and Tandoori chicken ON A ROLL. Say it with me: FANCY

Friday night saw us having a home game with Felix’s U12 rugby union team. There’s only three Friday night matches in the entire season so they’re like the birthday, Christmas and wedding anniversary parties with the ultimate present being a team win.

The Newport clubhouse is set up on a hill with a wide veranda so you can pull up a stool, chug down a cheap Coopers Pale Ale (or a vino OR even a champagne) while your kids mainline Passiona and tuck into your sausage sanger/hamburger/hotdog or fancy schmazy chicken tandoori ON.A.ROLL. I mean, what a sensation. We ALL had one! With yoghurt! AND there was salad and tomato on offer as well. What on earth will they think of next to outdo that culinary MASTERPIECE I ask you.

Being at home also means you can really hone your negligent parenting skills. Seriously, I didn’t see several of my million children all night, except for the occasional ‘oh there you are’ and ‘just go and do a wee behind that tree’. Winning.

Note to new players: get your kid bright boots or head gear, means you can find them on the field easily. You're welcome.

At some stage I realised the game was almost underway and hot-footed it down to the sideline to get my yell on. The yelling I witnessed in the early trial games were all I needed to know we were home. You see, parents and coaches yell at rugby.


Even better is that you only need a couple of core phrases to really get into it.

DOWN LOW DOWN LOW DOWN LOW is to remind the boys NOT to tackle other players above the waist. It’s a polite way of saying to the boys mid-flight FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NOT AROUND THE NECK.

This is also a fine lesson in just how lazy many of our professional sportsmen are in their repeated offenses at head-high tackles. JUST BEND OVER YOU LAZY FUCK AND TACKLE HIM AROUND THE LEGS.

Anyway. The other core phrase is GO OVER GO OVER GO OVER.

This comes hot on the heels of DOWN LOW which has seen one or twenty boys all collapse on top of each other on the ground.

From what I can tell, at this point if you had the ball under NO CIRCUMSTANCES LET GO OF THE BLOODY BALL. Instead, wait until several of team mates run and stomp over the top of you, thereby pushing the other team back so you can push the ball ‘out the back’ to one of your team mates.

What can I say, it’s not MENSA.

I am totally addicted and I’m not sure just how my nerves are going to survive the whole season.

VICTORY! Team song time. Sketchy on the second verse, as is the universal rule.

See, here’s the thing. Felix has the build and brain for rugby union and I can not tell you just how awesome it is seeing your kid find.their.passion. He loves all the plays and strategies (because apparently it IS more complex that get the ball, run, pass the ball, score a try. I know. I’m learning All.The.Time.) and in what has been one of the biggest revelations in my parenting of him – he can actually run.

Because this is still so new and shiny to me (Felix! Running! Not playing Minecraft! Muscles not atrophying on the lounge from all the Xbox inaction!) I tend to get quite carried away when he gets the ball. And by carried away I mean screamy.

Combine that with the fact he is a full forward and therefore gets the ball quite a bit AND that I have the MOST excellent, loud, holy shit we can hear you four suburbs away parenting voice it’s like I’m a pig in shit.

Which brings us back to last night’s game.


It had only just got underway when Felix ‘got a touch’, found a gap and was going for his life. Naturally I assumed full voice and bellowed a ‘RUUUUUUUUUUUN FELIX RUUUUUUUUUUUN’.

When I realised the entire ground was remarkably quiet.

And looking at me.


Blessedly there was some mirth in it. I explained it was so rare to see Felix run that when he does I get a little carried away. And then I hear, ‘I’d know that voice anywhere.’

And there was my uber chic old boss from the days I worked in a PR firm that rhymes with Hill & Knowlton. She was with her sons and husband from the basket weaving capital of Australia, Balmain.

Suddenly I felt less like Foghorn Leghorn and more like the Fisherwoman from The Magic Far-Away Tree.

Needless to say we had a potted history catch up – her family all fine, mine like a cart missing a wheel – before they headed off to cross three bridges and return to their hamlet while I totally missed Felix scoring a try. I know. I jog it in every single.

We went on to absolutely cane the opposition – meaning we’ve only lost one game this season.

So yeah, now I’m one of “those” sideline parents – loud, screamy AND smug.

Post match review




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  • HAHAHAHA oh dude. So much to love about this.

    1. You? Loud? GET OUT.
    2. I appreciate the primer because while we do have rugby here, I believe it’s considered an alternative lifestyle not to be spoken about in the general population.
    3. One of the VERY BEST THINGS about being a parent, particularly of older children/teens, is seeing your kids excel at things they absolutely love. If we were allowed to yell in theater or concert halls, I TOTALLY WOULD.
    Kathy recently posted..More on misophonia

    • I know. People are so surprised because their initial impression of me is one of peace and solitude.

  • Try Soccer – they yell really loud! 😉

    • oh dude, soccer killed me. SOOOO boring. And the parents were SO uptight.

  • AND with tandoori roll & Coopers options…so that’s OK. Great match reporting. Did you wear your Grandstand hat?
    BabyMacBeth recently posted..i Babies

    • I’m hoping it’ll be here for next week’s game. Because I am already the epitome of style, it’ll push me right over the edge.

  • Ms_clutterbuck

    Fucking HILAIR! OMG I’m actually jealous of you. I took the double sport bullet yesterday and nearly cried with boredom (soccer 1-0 loss, hockey 0-0 draw). My son wants to try rugby next year u12s but when I picture that skinny little body getting pummelled a scared bit of wee comes out. His widest part of his legs are his knees!!!

    • Oh he’ll be a back so not in the ruck. Seeing as it has been the perfect time for Felix in terms of starting I now advocate it as the best time to swap codes. There’s so many skinny little kids in it, DO IT.

  • I love your writing so much 🙂
    Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right recently posted..You can tell a lot about a kid by their bedroom wall

  • Megan

    vVry, very, very funny! Weekly match reports please.

  • On a ROLL!? Inspired!!

    You must live rooly rooly close to where I grew up… where you born on the insular peninsular or did you migrate in from “the west”?
    The Accidental Housewife recently posted..Nice things

    • Ahh – I came from west – the leafy north shore. Mum migrated first once we all left home, we followed once we’d had Oscar and there were better early-intervention services on the beaches than the lower north shore. Couldn’t escape after that.

  • Denyse Whelan. Education Specialist

    Great Match Report from Newport! Loved it. Love that you are a side-line coach eerrr sorry mum. I went to 4 yo grandsons baby soccer 4 a side two weeks ago & the screams just came out. From me. “tackle him” “go Hugo” oh nooooooo” etc. 10 mins per half. I’m so pleased another person has “a voice I’d recognize anywhere” phew. Not only me
    Gooone the Blues.. Or Stripeys I don’t know what the team is.
    D x
    Denyse Whelan. Education Specialist recently posted..Launching: Educate2Connect4Seniors.