Technically, this is cheating. I don’t have a picture, but I want you to picture it: In the local football club where we train there is a kafana - a local pub of sorts. We brought the State of Origin Game 3 on a laptop and hooked it up to the big TV. Next to us were a group of local football (soccer) veterans. Neither of them have seen a game of League in their life. It’s a sort of bar where everyone knows each other, so they’re commenting on the game. “Wow, look at that stadium, geez all full” “Is this like that american football thing” “No” one of them interrupts, this is LEAGUE, it’s kind of like that rugby you see, but different rules.” “Where is this?” “Oh, Australia? So you know the score?” We tell them we were all offline all day in order not to spoil the game. One of the guys received a notification from NRL.com so he knows the score. But he mustn’t give it away. We tell them there are two Serbs playing for New South Wales. They all say “Trbojevic” whenever they see them from now on. Kick off. “Oh my god, look at that” “This is insane, they’re jumping right into each other! Look at that sprint, straight into a brick wall”. They spend the first twenty minutes informing themselves about the rules. 6 tackles. Do they have to kick? They laugh at Ray Warren mispronouncing TrbOjevic. On the Vaughn try they realize we have VAR as well. We tell them which soccer players would fit in which RL positions. Half time. It’s fun, but not too much going on. They conclude that it’s all about endurance. The team in better shape will take the win. We explain it’s all about momentum, both teams will go all day. They ponder on the small fast guys vs big strong guys dynamic. They’re surprised that the tackles in the second half are even more brutal than the first. Morgan gets knocked out: “Not like f***ng soccer where everyone’s faking it”. For some reason, they’re really impressed with the ref - he must know everything, and he’s always there. We don’t correct them that there’s two of them. We all go up for the Tedesco try. They’ve noticed he’s good in the first half. “He must be Italian, right? Do you know Tedesco means something German in Italian?” Maybe. Does it? Cook runs away. “I told you the little speedsters will take it, just wait for the big guys to get tired” “Wow, he really turned that guy in the back inside out” Everyone’s in a good mood. Our team is winning. Only one of our guys is rooting for Queensland, everyone else is on the Turbo bandwaggon. Queensland come back. The room is getting tense. There’s light cursing. “They were down and out, and they come back - where do they find the energy?” “It’s all because of that idiot with the mustache.” Final play. We jump from our chairs when we realize the break is on. They only realize once Fergusson starts overtaking Gagai. Bunch of shouting, cheering. Try. “The bald guy did it, he survived, look, almost fell down” “And he threw a pass. With two hands, so it flies straight.” “And Tedesco sent that guy to get hot dogs (local saying when you successfully fake shot someone, or dribble them out of play).” “You don’t even get finishes like this in basketball, they were OUT on their feet!” “F**k it, we’re not watching football anymore, just rugby!” “Just rugby, crazy sh**!” ... Ofcourse, they don’t really mean it, but just goes to show how much magic there is in this game. Even when you have no clue of the rules, no clue who’s playing or why, Rugby League is one of the greatest shows on Earth.