And it was a doozy. I saved my best for last. I didn't do much that the non-rugby-conditioned eye would pick out, but it was a solid all-around effort. I didn't miss any tackles. I was in position to support my teammates on rucks and mauls, hitting the pile hard when I had to and just holding my place at others. I got one ball carry: the ball was just lying on the ground, where the opponent could have grabbed it. So I picked it up. I saw I wouldn't likely gain much on a run, so I did the smart thing — I crashed into the nearest would-be tackler, hit the deck, and put the ball out on the ground where only my teammates could get it after the ruck. I scrummaged really well. In the first half, our pack consistently drove their pack. I knew I was doing well because the opposing tight-head took a swing at me towards the end of the half. You don't take a swing at someone if you're dominating him! They brought in a new, bigger tight-head in the second half, so it was a stalemate the rest of the game — I got good position and held my ground, neither one of us able to drive the other.
But my favorite moment came halfway through the first half. We kicked the ball to Old Gold on a penalty kick, and I sprinted down the field after the ball. The guy who caught the kick passed to one of their backs. This back saw me barrelling down on him and looked to pass the ball to his right … but there was nobody there. His only option was to run, but I didn't give him time. He tried to start his run, but I plowed into his waist going full tilt. He never had a chance! There was a mess of limbs splayed everywhere and the ball squirted out. I could hear my sideline cheering because of the hit. Ah, what a satisfying moment!
I think I was in the running for "Man of the Match." I was one of two or three guys they could have chosen. But you have to be at the drink-up to get "Man of the Match," and I had more important things to do. Yesterday was lyddite and my 6-month anniversary, and we had plans to celebrate. I rushed to her place with my suit. Despite having forgotten my belt and my collar tabs and not being able to find my nice dress socks, I cut quite the gentlemanly figure, especially contrasted against my muddy rugby kit. Our plans were to go to Boston Ballet's production of Prokofiev's Cinderella followed by dessert at Finale.
We had fantastic seats smack-dab in the middle of the orchestra section. And it was a fantastic production. The only other time I've seen the Boston Ballet was a few months ago when chthulia and I went to see Swan Lake; I was disappointed then because the orchestra was underwhelming, the dancing was unspectacular, and the choreography sucked. Yesterday was a different story, though. The orchestra played Prokofiev's difficult music very ably. The dancing, except for a little bit of off-sync-ness in the male ensembles, was good. The choreography was excellent. And the sets and costumes were breathtakingly beautiful!
Because of the cold, drizzly weather, and because we were both tired, we decided to scrap the Finale plans. We went back to lyddite's place, changed out of our finery, and ordered food. We had a deliciously relaxing time sitting on the couch eating pizza, mozarella sticks, and garlic bread accompanied by a bottle of fine champagne. It was casual with a touch of class!
And really, it was the perfect ending to a near-perfect day!