Behind the make up of rugby league players on the field is real people who’ve come from similar backgrounds to ourselves. People who could have been standing in your shoes or alongside you if social engineers didn’t make the breakthroughs for sport to become what it is today. Rugby League today for players is living and a chance to entertain those who never made it. In the past rugby was just a pastime that the poor had to sacrifice a lot to play and watch.
The only difference between the supporters and the players in my opinion is that many rugby league players were born with the ability to play the game professionally. This playing ability was probably exercised from a young age by most who’ll be representing the Rhinos throughout the play-off series.
Our captain Kevin Sinfield for example, was plucked from Waterhead ARLFC at a very young age to join the Leeds Rhinos. Ever since that move he has gone on to become one of the best players in our sport. Now you compare Kevin Sinfield to lets say his brother Ian Sinfield and you can see where I’m coming from with this born ability stuff. Both play rugby league and one has done a whole lot better than the other in the sport.
Now the squad of 2010 I feel has just done enough to deserve being in the 4th spot of the play-off places. In big patches of this season we’ve seen Leeds do just enough to come out of a game with a victory. On paper Leeds probably have the best set of players in SuperLeague, but they’ve failed to live up to that so far, apart from odd occasions. Leeds Rhinos are starting to mirror the England squads that have failed to live up to their so called credentials.
I felt that many players in the England squad came in for unfair criticism after the world cup. A lot of this criticism seemed to be influenced by how many millions these players get. More and more often we hear that soldiers deserve more money than football players which has to be the most unfair comparison of our time. Sports entertainment for starters has made more people happy in the world than war. Secondly If people have a choice between war and sports entertainment it would of course be the latter. Finally sportsmen and solders are both typical of giving people who wouldn’t take anything off anybody given the choice.
So for the play-offs lets give our Leeds Rhinos squad a lot of appreciation no matter what the circumstances may be. As I said earlier in this piece many of them come from the same backgrounds as ourselves and have the same concerns. The worse we can do is take away appreciation by booing our team for putting in a bad performance. After all haven’t you put in a bad performance for something before?
Lets be giving and not taking.