Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears

Joe Tank

Rugby – A great tool for Dads

Rugby is an amazing sport that teaches you about much more than just passing or kicking a rugby ball, it also gives fathers the most awesome platform for those special real dad moments.

Tank Lanning

At the start of my season in the Sweet Valley U13A team, way back when WP players still got their match fees in brown “Koevertijies” hidden under their match jersey, my old man promised me R1 for every try I scored that season.

Now given that one of his mottos in life is “Economy in itself, is a source of revenue”, he had obviously done the maths, and knowing that his jelly tot swilling son was going to be stuck in a scrum as the tighthead prop for most of the game, this offer was never going to break the bank.

But at 112kg’s, even though most of it wobbled rather than rippled, there were a good few times when U13 defences would part like the proverbial Red Sea rather than take on this giant, and I managed to take a few bucks off the old man.

It is one of the many awesome memories that came to mind after taking in this tear jerking #RealDadMoments video from Dove:

And it is amazing how rugby has also created a few of these moments for me and my little guy, now 6 years old and having emerged from his first ever rugby holiday clinic wanting to be the guy “That everyone is scared to tackle”.

I would love him to play rugby – it is an amazing sport that teaches you about much more than just passing or kicking a rugby ball – but that is for him to decide. Thus far, though, it does look like it runs in his blood.

From sidling up next to me on the couch to watch a Saturday morning game with coffee and rusk in hand, to physically scrumming against each other in the kitchen before mom comes down (I think he said “Crouch, bind set” before he said mama or dada), to practising our kicking and sidesteps in the garden, or just passing the ball to each other in silence as we take the dogs for a walk, this oval ball just seems to create a language that we both understand.

He’s already had the stitches in the forehead and bought the blue gum guard, now we just need to get through that first axing or non-selection. Not to worry my boy, dad’s shoulders are big!

Author: Tank

Ex WP prop with a fair amount of experience in all things media ...


  1. Beautiful post, Tank.

  2. You make me proud to be a dad.

    Good one Tank !!!!

  3. Lekka post.

  4. magic post – i concur, we must still grab that beer at our local club’s pub…

  5. Shot for the comments … Loved writing it … even through the misty eyes :)

  6. Great piece.