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I'm still alive!

As one of my teammates put it, "You're no longer a [rugby] virgin!"

I thought I played alright, given that I'm a rookie. I made two or three tackles, one that prevented the other team from scoring a try. But I also made a couple of tackling errors, like when I hit the guy but failed to wrap my arms around him and he bounced forward for a few more meters. I wasn't involved in very many rucks or mauls, and I never carried the ball (although we had one play designed to go to me on a lineout, but we never got to use it because all our lineouts came within our 22-meter line).

My scrumming technique got better as the game progressed (and, coincidentally, as I got gassed). I had one scary moment in the scrum, when I wasn't able to keep my neck up and my chin got pressed towards my chest and the scrum collapsed backwards over me. But I survived it.

Rugby is such a gentleman's game! When I made a mistake on a scrum that resulted in a penalty, the referee didn't simply call the penalty. He came over and explained what I did wrong and what I need to do to avoid that. Several times, the prop I was going up against gave me a pat on the back or told me I did well. In what other sport does your opponent congratulate you on a job well done?!? After the game he came over and told me that I was the one that kept the scrum up when he thought for sure it was going to collapse. The fact is, we're all battling in the scrum, trying to gain leverage and drive the scrum so we can win the ball, but none of us, especially in the front row, want the scrum to collapse, because that's when injuries happen.

As for results? We are a division 2 team going up against a good division 1 team. In the A-side game, we fell behind 13-0 at the half on 3 quick break-out plays, but we were winning the scrums and setting the tone physically. This paid off in the second half when we came back to win 17-13. The B-side game was far more physical. (I play B-side.) We traded penalty kicks in the first half to make it 3-3. It was hard fought and we played tough defense. We held them tough in the second half, too, but towards the end of the game they broke through for three quick tries, getting the conversion on the third, for a 20-3 win. (Tries are the equivalent of touchdowns in football and are worth 5 points. Conversions are the extra point and are worth 2 points. Penalty kicks and drop kicks are the field goals, worth 3 points.)

Several guys after the game congratulated me on a good first game and asked me how I felt. I feel there are many things I can do better, but I feel that I'm slowly getting the hang of the game. It felt good to mix it up and come out of it no worse for wear beyond a few scrapes, bruises, and sore shoulders/neck. Was I nervous? I didn't feel particularly nervous, but I had to pee 4 times between when I got to the pitch and when the game started.

Is anybody going to the '80s night fundraiser tonight? I could use a designated driver, as I'd rather not rely on public transportation. Call me at 617-872-6262 if you're going and would be willing to drive me, using either my car or yours. Thanks.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 9th, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC)
Scrumble Non-Virgin
Now should I tell your mother that you're risking your body at Rugby? I'll have to explain what rugby is if I do.
Apr. 9th, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Scrumble Non-Virgin
She should already know I'm playing. But yes, do try to explain rugby to her if you can.
Apr. 9th, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Scrumble Non-Virgin
The next day she is off, I'll see if I can find a rugby game we can watch together. It's easier to explain if you can see what's happening.
Apr. 10th, 2005 04:23 pm (UTC)
Glad you're having fun with the rugby, just don't get your face too smushed!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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