I Thought This Was Supposed To Be Art

This Sporting Life is a ground-breaking film about violence, desire, love, and loneliness (a great description of it can be found here). It was released in 1963 and stars the ruggedly handsome Richard Harris as Frank Machin, a rugby player whose lower class roots alienate him from the very society his sporting success makes him a part of. The Guardian said of the film,
Exhilarating … Probably Lindsay Anderson’s best film – certainly Richard Harris’. He gives a performance to equal Brando’s in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, playing Frank Machin, the ferociously driven young man in early 60s England who wants to make it in professional rugby league. Frank finds himself desperately in love with his widowed landlady, the morosely beautiful Margaret Hammond: it’s a stark, pained performance from Rachel Roberts, crowned with an unforgettably macabre death sequence.

All in all, widely recognized as an excellent film. One I should watch. And yet I haven't. I tried, but I was so annoyed when I watched the opening scenes and realized Harris' character was playing rugby league, and not rugby union. I mean, come on. I thought this was a serious film. How can a movie about a tough guy be in earnest if the guy wriggles like a fish when he gets tackled, instead of hitting rucks?