Tournament

The tournament I’ve been mentioning for the past few months came and went Saturday in a flurry of rugby players, sun, games, cheers, food, drinks, jello, bruises and laughter.

Overall, it was a success.

A grandiose, beyond expectations success? No.

A pretty good start to something we have never accomplished before? Yes.

So, a success.

We had five women’s teams and my team filled in where needed. With several Midwest 7s players, Chicago North Shore won it all. The “Point” team, which I played on throughout the day, finished second. Many of us Wisconsin Women donned more than one jersey color, sometimes as many as three others.

The men’s side saw 10 teams with a final culminating between our men, the Wisconsin Rugby Club, and Metropolis from the Twin Cities. This was a rematch of last year’s final and this time, the WRC men played out of their minds and schooled Metropolis. It was a flat out great rugby game to watch.

Since I didn’t have a formal team per se and played for two and was ready to sub in for another, I can just say GOOD GAME to everyone (and Maggie, yes, I included a smack on the butt with that). Individually, well, I’m a tad rusty and really need to start running and training more, but I did okay.

I had a nice little try in my first game of the day after I ran the ball up the middle, expecting to be stopped, then surprisingly found myself not stopped and racing into the try zone.

In my fourth game, I subbed in for the Milwaukee Scylla in the second half at scrumhalf and after a few predictable scrums, scooped up the ball for an initially sweet little scrumhalf weak-side run that the opposition wasn’t watching. I made it at a hard run about 20 meters and could see the try line teasing me before my weakened fitness caught up to me. Just as the defending wing was closing in on me running down the sidelines, some semi-lucid neuron in my brain fired off the thought that I should attempt a chip kick into the try zone so I could just run after it and touch it down for the score. This, of course, was a fantastically smart idea on paper and even at the moment that I agreed with the neuron. However, this quickly ended as soon as the ball left my hands to start the kick and my body failed to follow suit and I missed the kick completely as the entire sideline was cheering and then a big “Ohhhhhhhh!” as I lost it. Oh well. Next time maybe. I was still pleased with the weak-side sneak. Just need to work on my fitness and kicking.

Someone later told me, Pinkie maybe?, that it wouldn’t have been such a big deal if I hadn’t chosen to run the weak-side run down the main sideline of the tournament where everyone was sitting and standing. But like I care what anyone watching thinks. I just wanted to try it. And despite my whiff, it was still pretty. That other scrumhalf didn’t catch me. I basically defeated myself. I’ll take that over being beaten by someone else one-on-one any day … because next time, self, you’re going down. 😉

I didn’t get much sleep all week/weekend between work, preparing for the tournament and then playing/working the tournament, so by 9 p.m. on Saturday, I was done. Out. Over. Bruised and beaten. Put me to bed. Tim fed me some good Mexican food and tucked me in.

Needless to say, the next morning 98% of my body refused to move without the soreness that only rugby can cause you. My neck and upper back in particular was nice and tender from a maul gone awry to the ground and rolling over completely twice in the championship match versus North Shore. My friend Amy and I, both in the middle, felt the brunt of the rollover. Amy says she saw stars. Sometimes you just know as it’s happening … that’s gonna leave a mark.

Sunday, after a bit of lounging, I had to drive an hour to attend our state’s union meeting. I returned home a few hours later, hung out with my brother for a bit and then later cleaned up my apartment, made some really good food and Tim and I watched The Usual Suspects. “Keyser Soze!”

Today, I can honestly say, I had a great time and I thought it was solid success, but I am sooooo glad it’s over for another year. I’m exhausted …

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