Lelo burti : oldest form of rugby ever ?


Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
If we are going on 'many similarities' and not 'development of modern rugby' ;

Marn Grook featured punt kicking and catching a stuffed "ball". It involved large numbers of players, and games were played over an extremely large area. The game was not played tribe versus tribe. All tribes consisted of two halves (moieties) most often represented by the Totemic symbols of Black Cockatoo and white Cockatoo The tribes would therefore merge and divide themselves into the two teams based on the moiety totems. The game was subject to strict behavioural protocols and for instance all players had to be matched for size, gender and skin group relationship. However, to observers the game appeared to lack a team objective, having no real rules, or scoring. A winner could only be declared if one of the sides agreed that the other side had played better. Individual players who consistently exhibited outstanding skills, such as leaping high over others to catch the ball, were often praised, but proficiency in the sport gave them no tribal influence.


Some historians claim that Marn Grook had a role in the formation of Australian rules football, which originated in Melbourne in 1858 and was codified the following year by members of the Melbourne Football Club.[

Marn Grook - Wikipedia
Jul 2011
western Europe
@specul8 : I bet the heritage of that ancient ball game also had strong influence on the contemporary Aussie Rugby Union reputation as well.

@GogLais : How can it be more related to the Eton Wall Game (e.g. which didn't even allow handling) ?
Oct 2018
Adelaide south Australia

I have never followed football, (Aussie rules) although I played at school. I have always thought it came via Gaelic football because so many of our earliest settlers were Irish convicts. (not MY family of course; THEY were free settlers in the free colony of South Australia*)

The similarities are fairly striking; in both Gaelic football and Aussie rules, you kick the ball if and only if you can't kick the man.

* WE don't count great great uncle Mick; he became shot on the Victorian goldfields during a misunderstanding about the ownership of a horse. :)

PS can someone tell me why a great stack of threads are showing in Chinese on my system?

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