Our friend Menachem is President of the Israel Rugby Union, the organization that oversees Israel’s national team, its 12 local clubs, and its youth program. Last weekend we attended the match against Austria. It turns out that the Austrian ambassador to Israel is a rugby player/fan and attended with an Austrian contingent. Plus, he brought some of his ambassador friends.  After watching one game, we still don’t quite understand the rules.  Still, we can tell when one team or the other has scored, and it’s fun to watch when the players hoist each other high in the air.   Israel Rugby has a small but very devoted fan-base.  The team has won something like 13 games in a row and is moving up the rankings in the European Nations Cup. “El! El! Yis-ra-el!”

The team’s home field is at the Wingate Institute, a sports science research & physical education institute, just south of Netanya, so we decided to visit Netanya before the game.  Having spent an hour there, we can report that the primary attraction is its nice beach, but since we have beaches aplenty in Haifa, there seems to be no compelling reason to visit Netanya. When we told Yaffa that we stopped in Netanya before the game, she couldn’t understand why we’d do such a thing.

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