The Golden Pig

Our team “won” the Pigfest 10s tournament this weekend in Oshkosh, Wis. I say “won” because we were the victorious team with a nice 2-0 record, but when there are only two teams total, it kind of takes the conquest out of it.

But hey, wins are wins. And we got a trophy with a big golden pig on it to add to our collection of other gold and silver pigs from years past.

It was also hot as H-E-L-L this weekend though. The kind of hot that just rolls over you in slow, lazy waves. Heat so intense that you are afraid to step out of the shade and when you do, you feel like a puddle person, a big glob just bubbling on the ground. Naturally, this is not the best way to play rugby. However, this is a great way to play “almost-puking” rugby … “Every time I get up from a tackle, I feel like I might vomit right here on the pitch” rugby.

I only saw one person throw up though. And it wasn’t me … but I was close in our last game.

So, yeah … we had 11 players plus Goose as our most-excellent No. 1 fan. Myself, Pinkie, Johnson, Ber, Halie, Sammy, Moni, Sta-Nay-Nay and the three Maggies. We later joked to just yell Maggie at anyone on the field for help. And that we should’ve called ourselves The Maggies.

Sadly, after getting to the tournament, there was only one other women’s team signed up to play. And they were a motley team of players from 3 teams. It seems women’s rugby in more northerly Wisconsin is having issues in the summer. It was pretty disappointing, but we made the most of it. And we got a big chunk of money back for not getting at least three games in what has traditionally been at least a six-team women’s bracket.

After some discussion, the two teams decided we would play each other twice, and our team won each game by a try. And they were good, physical games, so it wasn’t a day wasted. It actually worked out okay, because some of our players could leave earlier and the rest of us could enjoy relaxing and watching our guys play. Some of our old boys also brought two kiddie pools, so many of us enjoyed a nice cold dip while socializing at our little campsite, along with some water fights and special jello treats.

You could tell how hot it was because our camp was under one big tree on the far end of the main pitch. As the sun made its way across the sky, the tree’s shadow would move in a lazy circle around the tree, so our camp would move with it. No one could stay out in the sun for too long, unless you were cooling off in our pools. (Note: Seriously, kiddies pools rock for rugby tournaments!)

Three of the U-19 players I coach also played for the other team, so it was nice to see them. Especially amusing was being tackled by one and then hearing her say, “Sorry Coach!” to which I told her she wasn’t supposed to apologize!

So, a long, hot day, but any rugby is better than no rugby at all. And there was free beer and pigroast later. And more jello.

Update: And for the record, I am most definitely not in very good shape right now. The heat just exarcerbated my lacking fitness and the humidity had a nice iron grip around my asthma. It was *super* fun, let me tell you. I’m really looking forward to all the running I have to do now to get back in shape …

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