Rough Justice

Rough Justice

Rugby Union Football, party-goers, bikies with baseball bats and a vicious attack in retaliation. This is a different story from the keyboard of Aussie Rules.

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Rough Justice
It’s approximately 7.30pm Oz time on a Saturday night and I’ve only just got in from work – just in time to watch the last ten minutes of a Tri-Nations rugby union game between Australia and South Africa. Across the street we can hear the happy voices of party-goers celebrating into the night. The next thing I know I’m reminiscing back to 1992.

It was the same weekend that I was rostered off duty that South Africa played one of its first post apartheid international rugby union matches against France and I’d promised myself that I was going to be awake early enough to watch the live telecast commencing around 11.45am. We didn’t have cable TV back then leaving us with two choices: watching the game live; or waiting for the shorts on the evening sports programme.

However, this was a Red Letter day and yours truly was going to watch the game from start to finish. But before witnessing the ruck and maul on the television I was almost involved in my own local version of same.

On that Sunday in October 1992 at approximately 8.30am our tranquil Kewdale morning had just been shattered by someone pounding on our front doors and windows. I was working in the study; Ann was having a sleep-in. (We keep our front doors and fly screens double locked – preferring instead to always use the rear entrance of our home). Ann came into the study saying that someone was trying to knock down the front door and at the very same moment the pounding began again. Yours truly casually wandered outside to be met by three long haired men striding down the driveway to the back of the property. One had a scruffy long beard and two were covered in tattoos. All three had shoulders like tallboys and were carrying baseball bats. Their demeanour said they were very angry.

After greeting them G’day one of them said ‘No, he’s not the bloke’ and turned on his heels back to the street. The smallest of the three, roughly 5 feet 10 inches, stopped long enough to explain that they were looking to square up with the bloke who had run into the back of his mate’s car the night before. You see, our neighbour across the street held a party the night before and there were cars parked all over the place – even on our front lawn. Then again, that’s the way it is in Oz. Anyway, it seems another motorist hadn’t negotiated the parked cars and had ploughed into the back of one of them.

By now all three men had left our property and I had followed them to the end of our driveway. Lo and behold there were another five of them waiting up the street and like the other three were around the same height, size and demeanour – each of them saying in their own inimicable way what they were going to do to the perpetrator of last night’s dastardly deed. In short, a kind of non-medical surgery to the perpetrator’s anatomy.

And why did they knock on our doors and windows? Well, it seems that the erring motorist had indicated he lived ’Just across the road’.

It was several days later that we read a chilling story in our local newspaper about a brutal and vicious attack by several men wielding baseball bats on a man in his own home just a few streets away from our place. The story included statements from the victim that the attack, in part, had been in retaliation following a late night motor vehicle accident in Fulham Street, Kewdale.

The memory of it all still sends shudders down my spine.

By the way, I did get to watch the game between France and South Africa which the Springboks won.

Barry Edge
Western Australia
July 31, 2004
🙂

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