My highlight of the weekend to date – which says much about the somewhat staid life I lead – was to get trolled by Leicester rugby union supporters on twitter after I took the piss when Bristol Bears defeated them following a controversial ending in yesterday’s game. You can read about what happened here. I am not a massive fan of the union form of rugby but I do find myself drawn to everything about the Bears, from their exciting style of rugby, their ethos, their strong community links and the fact that they are called Bristol. So I usually watch their games on BT Sport and promise to attend a game sometime. And that’s pretty well it. Yesterday, I loved the Bears more than at any time.
Leicester’s fans were livid by the late machinations employed by Bristol and let the players know about it by booing and shouting at both the visitors and the referee. And Leicester coach Steve Borthwick completely lost his shit by shouting at the Bristol coaches, calling them ‘liars’ and possibly worse. It was, I have to say, immensely satisfying and not a bit funny to see a team like Leicester, renowned for its rough-house, playing-on-the-edge style, to be beaten by a team playing their game and, somewhat pathetically you might say, to bait Leicester fans on twitter. Basically, they can dish it out but they can’t take it.
It’s not that I care that much. As I described earlier, I like the Bears but I am not what you would call a supporter. I’ve been to a grand total of one game at Ashton Gate and, when fans are allowed to return, £35 just for a match day ticket is probably out of my price range, so perhaps the angry Leicester fans might consider engaging with an actual supporter who goes to games than a wastrel like me who just wants to take the piss? Anyway, I thought rugby union folk always considered them to be superior to the lower orders and certainly much better than those awful ‘soccer’ supporters? Perhaps not if yesterday’s petty, sneering insults and digs are anything to go by.
The Leicester fans need to get over themselves. Gamesmanship is not exclusive to the Bristol Bears and perhaps yesterday’s losers might care to examine their own actions, particularly with reference to the ‘dark arts‘. It’s nothing new: players and coaches get away with whatever they can so please don’t tell me Bristol invented gamesmanship yesterday. They probably learned much of it from the former masters: Leicester.