There is nothing more gladiatorial, physical and brutal and at the same time gentlemanly and enriched by fair play as rugby. Watching huge unshaven, battle scared brutes clashing bodily and testing their ability to play with skill and fairness while being subject to the pressure of extreme physical duress is something to admire.
While crushed under the weight of six bodies of 120 kilos, pinned by one arm and head, a good forward knows what to do. Get his body over the ball and force it back to his half, waiting to pass swiftly from his pain and suffering. Or the hooker. Jammed between two brutes and forced head first into the scrum with 800 kilos of grunt forcing him into the head of his opposite number, while concentrating on getting the ball with his feet.
Then the hooker needs to recover his strength for a line out. Where he must throw the ball with millimetre accuracy into the air to time with his giant 2 metre number seven who is launched into the air by two grunting forwards.
The back line get it relatively easy. Little light weights by comparison who can run with speed and agility. Unless they are waiting under the ball kicked into the air and knowing they must catch it cleanly. And also knowing that a split second later they will be hit with the full force of a rampaging 120 kilo forward whose intention is a crunching tackle using all his body mass at full speed.
At the end of a match, bloodied, bruised, crushed, twisted and exhausted, they all get wearily to their feet and shake their opponents hands after the blood and battle. For eighty minutes, not a one takes a backward step. However, after the match they are all on the same side. Because they are gentlemen, those who play rugby.