NRL (aka League) and Rugby Union, have very different fan bases, at least they do amongst my friends.
I have great mates who live in the Western suburbs of Sydney and they absolutely love their NRL. A few years ago I watched the NRL Grand Final with them, in Campbelltown (a long way from Hornswood). I also have great mates who live in Hornswood and they absolutely adore their Rugby Union. I watched the Bledisloe Cup with them, in Roseville (Rugby Union heartland).
THEY DRINK DIFFERENT GROG.
Me to my NRL mate, Grand Final night – “Howdy Crotch-Rot, where do I shove my Coronas?”
NRL mate – “You don’t want me to answer that, because the answer involves your arse! Coronas? Oooh la-di-da… very fancy! Chuck ‘em in the f#cking esky! Just near the bottle of Bundy that the fat prick brought.”
Me – “I tried, but the esky’s full of VB and Reschs!”
Me to my Rugby Union mate, Bledisloe night – “Hello James, where do I place my Coronas?”
Rugby Union mate – “Coronas?? Cheap cat’s excrement! Put them in the glass-faced fridge. Just near the bottle of Pinot Gris Andrew brought.”
Me – “I tried, but the fridge’s full of Asahi and Grolsch!”
THEY WEAR DIFFERENT CLOTHES.
Me to my NRL mate – “Hey Scumbag, nice aqua coloured flannel. Too good for you. Where’d you get it?”
NRL mate – “F#ck knows. The missus bought it. Lowes in Macarthur Square I think. It’s not aqua!”
Me – “Does your sister know you’re wearing her shirt? Nice handlebar moustache too… not as good as your sister’s.”
Me to my Rugby Union mate – “Hey Andrew, nice pink shirt. Where’d you get it?”
Rugby Union mate – “Thanks you Jase. Egyptian cotton mixed with Belgian linen. I got it from my London tailor. It’s not pink though, it’s fuchsia.”
Me – “Huh, it looks local.”
THEY EAT DIFFERENT FOODS.
Me to my NRL mate – “Jeez that barbie smells great dick head. What are you burning the crap out of for us?”
NRL mate – “Shit head, we got T-bones and we got snags!”
Me – “I’m so hungry I could eat Kym Beazley stuffed with bacon.
Me to my Rugby Union mate – “Gee whiz that barbecue smells great Walter. What are we having?”
Rugby Union mate – “Jase we have Wagyu scotch fillet and we have pheasant-camembert-pistachio sausages.”
Me – “I’m so hungry I could eat Joe Hockey stuffed with quinoa.”
THEY GAMBLE DIFFERENTLY.
Me to my NRL mate – “I got a Bradman on this game Dirty Phil, you got any bets on?”
NRL mate – “Yeah. I won fiddy on the pokies, so I put it on the Doggies at minus five and half.”
Me – “Good bet.”
Me to my Rugby Union mate – “I have a hundred dollars wagered on this game Cameron, have you got any on?”
Rugby Union mate – “No way! You’re a compulsive gambler Jase. I can’t believe how much you bet on a football match”
Me – “Huh? You just put $30,000 into Billabong options based on one article you read in the Financial Review!”
THEY HOLIDAY DIFFERENTLY.
Me to my NRL mate – “You going away for the holidays Swineherder?”
NRL mate – “Ooh shit yeah. Taking the caravan to the Central Coast. Fishing, surfing, snorkeling, sunbaking, kayaking, beers and barbies.”
Me – “You could have just said going to the Central Coast, wanker.”
Me to my Rugby Union mate – “You going away for the holidays Robert?”
Rugby Union mate – “Ooh yeah. Going heli-skiing in Normandy.”
Me – “You could have just said going to France or skiing, tosser.”
THEY THINK DIFFERENTLY, OF THE OTHER GAME.
Me to my NRL mate – “What do you think of Rugby Union, root-master? I’ll be watching the Bledisloe with a whole bunch of Roseville mates.”
NRL mate – “I F#CKING HATE THAT GAME. Too many stoppages, feigning of injuries, the number of fat-boy players, the ref’s interpretations can screw the game and it’s just sooooo bloody complicated. It’s designed for your silver-spoon, SBS-watching, BMW-driving, private-school, trust fund, lobster-nibbling, tax-evading, suit-wearing, white-collar snob mates.”
Me – “It’s the thinking man’s game root-master, and you’re obviously just not a thinker.”
Me to my Rugby Union mate – “What do you think of NRL, Xavier? I’ll be watching the Grand Final with a whole bunch of Campbelltown mates.
Rugby Union mate – “I REALLY HATE THAT GAME. It’s so predictable, bash it up the centre five times and then kick. Their scrums are a joke and the players all take turns being arrested! It’s played by thugs and morons, for the viewing pleasure of your wage-earning, Pauline Hanson-voting, tree-removing, TAB-visiting, KFC-eating, Home And Away-watching, Commodore driving mates.
Me – “You are such a freaken snob, the simplicity is what’s so great about it.”
I don’t know if my mates represent the wider community or not, but just like Judas Iscariot, Sonny Bill Williams and Benedict Arnold, I am happy having a foot in both warring camps.
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