Pivo Rugby - The History of Racing Banja Luka

Some talk of the golden days of rugby as being the era of Racing Club de Paris but for that select few who wore the red and black Harlequin style shirt, there can only be one candidate...Racing Banja Luka. The days of "Pivo rugby" expressed by the (mainly) officers of HQ 1 Armoured Div and our many visitors. Indeed one or two foreigners went on from that inauspicious start to represent great sides in their home nations, including Harvard U!

They flocked from every corner of the TAOR for that 1800 hours kick-off on the RAF regiment's five-a-side pitch at the BLMF. Organisations moved their conference times so that attendees could throw on a tee-shirt and shorts and play touch rugby. The dummies, the swerves, the side-steps - and that was just people trying to get out of work so they could join in!

For one hot and sweaty hour, twice weekly, the thud of trainer on mine-cleared, rock-hard, patchily be-grassed sod could be heard, interspersed with cries of "Racing!" as yet another improbable dummy was bought, lovingly gift wrapped and paid for. Oh and who can forget the funny way that grass burns would not heal normally, turn septic and exude a strange metallic coloured ichor?

Mmmm...jumpers for goalposts? SO1s trying to recapture their lost youth isn't it? Female officers trying to impress Royal Marines from faction liaison?

Well it kept me sane I can wibble tring biscuit tell you. It was without doubt the highlight of my second tour at hard labour. Especial thanks go to the ladies - I recall three who joined in and made a not bad fist of it. Although in truth it was a certain ETS Lieutenant's enormous breasts bouncing under a sweaty tee-shirt I really recall rather than the lightning speed over five metres of the RMP Captain!!

I mention this this a.m. as I have just pulled on a polo-shirt to mess around in and it is the original pattern for the commemorative top we had made. I sit here gazing at the Running Rhino charging between stylized goal-posts, adorned with the club name and our motto "Stani ili pucam"(sic) - "Apartment block or I shoot!"...how many Bosnian innocents must have been shot on their way home after the challenge was issued from the original UN language card??

I can only hope that the Lions have half as much fun as we did and that the New Zealanders were too fcuking serious minded to come out and play!

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