First, some clarification: the summer session practices have just been games of touch rugby — no hitting or tackling, no scrumming or rucking or mauling. But it's a decent workout nonetheless and a chance to work on passing and running fundamentals.
So I had a few good plays tonight. I was able to break up a few passes on defense. I made a few tags, including a couple of times on our team MVP. And I played my defensive responsibilities well, clogging lanes and anticipating passes. On one defensive play, I picked up a loose ball and made a decent gain.
I also played well offensively. On one play, I took the ball as scrumhalf. (That is, I initiated the play after a tackle had stopped the previous play.) I noticed the defender in front of me to my right start to shift to his left to anticipate the pass. So, I faked the pass and spun into the vacated gap. The defense was slow to react and I was able to run two-thirds of the way down the pitch, bending away from my pursuit. I probably could have scored the try, as I was only a meter or two from the try line. But I know I am as slow as fuck. I saw a teammate keeping pace behind me to my right. If I could get the ball to him he would score easily. I made a perfect pass … and he knocked it on. (That's a rugby term meaning he didn't catch it cleanly or he otherwise caused the ball to move forward with some part of his body above his waist, a rule violation that results in turnover of possession.) Oh, so close!
That's not to say I didn't have my share of screwups. On one play I was unopposed on the wing, got the pass, and knocked it. On another I had another breakaway opportunity, but after the big gain I was going to get tagged, so I tried to pass it to a teammate behind me on my left (rugby passes must always travel backwards) but got the ball nowhere near him. Still, I felt a vast improvement in my play and in my general understanding of the game. I'm looking forward to fall-season practices starting for real next week.
Note to K: I talked to Ann briefly at practice. I guess she was talking about me at the Old Boys game. At some point she said to me, [something blah blah blah] "in your capacity as girls' rugby recruitment coordinator." "Um, but I'm not." "I know, well, yes you are! I appoint you that as of right now. We're just saying that because you're such an adorable guy. That's how we refer to you now, you know, 'He's such an adorable guy.'" "Um, that's not a very good rugby nickname." "Believe me, it could be worse." "Well, yes, but still, it doesn't exactly strike fear into the heart of an opponent. Can you imagine some guy saying, 'Watch out for their prop, he's such an adorable guy!'" We had a good laugh over that. ;)