In the most recent Rogues Rant dated May 4, I related a tale about some self- soaping sponges. I have received correspondence from IDRU Life Member John Martin in which John was able to throw some more light on the said incident way back in the 1970’s. I unreservedly apologise to the Manager mentioned in the story for suggesting that this was something less than a particularly brilliant form of subterfuge perpetrated by the young Man. I present John’s Rebuttal.
I refer to a recent Rogue’s Rant, in which he described an incident from a Country Carnival in the Seventies which involved a Team Manager providing a self-soaping sponge for the players to use during the half-time break.
The Rogue preserved the Manager’s anonymity by using a cryptic sobriquet, but from the clues provided, his identity was clear to me and I would like to elaborate further on the incident.
This particular match was against a strong Newcastle side and a soapy sponge was in fact provided at half-time. This was not an oversight by a novice manager however, but a brilliantly conceived strategy designed by the Manager to play mind-games with the opposition. I distinctly heard him explaining to the Team Captain, one Geoffrey (Bunter) Shaw that the sight of the Illawarra players, feigning anger and frothing at the mouth, would be extremely unsettling to the Newcastle players and would be worth at least ten points in the second half. This indeed did prove to be the case and Illawarra went on to record a memorable win.
This was no “novice manager,” as the Rogue describes him, but a rugby psychologist, years ahead of his time. The Rogue should wash his mouth out for suggesting otherwise.
Editors Comment – Shame on you Rogue, You should have realised this to be what it was, a brilliant piece of Rugby Genius.