Showboating in Rugby - is there a place for it?
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Showboating, by definition, is when someone performs in an ostentatiously sensational manner calculated to draw attention. While there are many sports where showboating it is not only accepted as the norm, but encouraged, Rugby Union is not one of them. In the Lions 23-21 victory over the Wallabies in Brisbane’s First Test, 21-year-old Welsh flyer George North scored a sensational try which helped secure the win for the Lions. However his efforts were marred when he decided to showboat in front of the 52,499 packed stadium by gesturing his finger at Aussie scrum-half Will Genia before scoring. North has since come out and said that he feels ‘horrendous’ for the gesture, but sadly he is not the first, nor will he be the last to showboat in such a way. On the 18th May in the Heineken Cup final, Toulon’s Delon Armitage made headlines after waving mockingly goodbye to Clermont Auvergne fly-half Brock James as he raced over to score a crucial try. This is probably the worst case of showboating I’ve seen in rugby for a very long time. What made matters a hundred times worse for the English full-back is that he defended his actions on Twitter by lashing out at former England hooker, turned BBC pundit, Brian Moore. He soon apologised for his actions and admitted he was ‘stupid’, but it made little difference to people’s opinions of him. “So? He’s still a t***”, as my friend so eloquently put it when I mentioned the news of Armitage’s apology. He won’t be alone in his judgment. On the flip side of the coin, some are of the opinion that there is a place for showboating in the hooligans game played by gentleman.
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