Dolphin In The Ratz Ranks
Article and photo courtesy of Manning River Times
20 April 2011
Josh Crowther (with the ball) playing for Forster Dolphins against Taree Ratz.
As Josh Crowther found himself on the bottom of a particularly vicious ruck last Saturday he was caught in a difficult dilemma.
Josh, half back for the Forster-Tuncurry Dolphins rugby team,was playing his team’s most bitter rivals, the Manning River Ratz.
Rivals might be too mild a word for the enmity between these two teams. Only 30 kilometres separate Forster and Taree, but on the rugby field the Dolphins and Ratz are mortal enemies.
“Ratz by name, rats by nature,” Crowther, 29, said of the Taree team before the match.
“The Dolphins hate the Ratz and the feeling is mutual. It’s always been this way. It’s the most rugged game of the year and always erupts in a bit of biffo.”
The loyal and dedicated Dolphin gave his all on the weekend as he bashed, barged and battled the Ratz. He was hit harder then normal by the fired-up Ratz, and as he went to work on Monday his bruises hurt even more as the Ratz won 11-6.
But Josh Crowther has a big problem. He’s a lawyer, and he’s just moved from the Bromhead Legal firm in Forster – main sponsors of the Dolphins – to a new post as contested estates specialist with Stacks Law Firm in Taree.
His problem is Stacks is a sponsor of the Manning River Ratz. Everyone in Stacks are huge fans of the local Taree team and share the traditional dislike of the Dolphins. Nobody in Crowther’s new office actually plays with the Ratz, but he’s feeling the pressure.
“I have to keep my head down and not talk about rugby in the office,” Josh said. “These Stacks lawyers really love their Taree Ratz. I guess I’m a bit of a dolphin in the ranks of Ratz.”
Josh can’t even think of changing teams.
“If I even thought of switching to the Ratz, the Dolphins would rip me apart.”