An Irish Rugby Tale

Back in the mid 1960s there was an Irish full back of awesome ability by the name of Dermot “Stone Wall” Hogan.  Built like a cow shed, his tackling powers were legendary. He’d go in low and hard, leaving opponents wishing they’d never left the dressing room.  His boast was he’d never missed a tackle.

Meanwhile, across the water in England there was a winger by the name of Roger Cadwallader-Smith.  Roger, nicknamed “The Electric Eel,”  could sprint like a champion racehorse, dodge like a butterfly and leave vainly pursuing opponents looking like drunken cattle.  He was England’s record try scorer.

One wet afternoon in County Limerick the team of Hogan and that of Cadwaller-Smith set to do battle.  The game was a close one.  In the final moments, the Englishman broke free and ran towards the home team’s line.

The crowd held its breath.  Hogan crouched, eyes afire, waiting for the tackle.  He lunged but, horror of horrors, Cadwaller-Smith dodged the human missile thrown at him, and ran in for the winning try.

Afterwards, a reporter from the “Limerick Leader” caught up with a distraught “Stone Wall.”

“You’ve never missed a tackle before,” he said.  “What happened?”

“Well,” says Hogan, talking through a mouth full of broken teeth and mud.   “It was like this: I saw yer man come leapin’ towards me.  I waited and then flung myself at him.  Trouble was…the Cadwaller went to the left of me, the Smith to the right, and I was left in the middle clutching the bloody hyphen.”

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