A little tired this morning, but posting early so I can concentrate on my projects.
Saturday, my team drove down to Chicago to open our fall league season against the Chicago Women. We lost.
I believe 4 tries to none. I didn’t pay attention to conversions. Added: I guess I wasn’t attention at all. Final score – 45-0 surprisingly.
That said, it wasn’t a bad game. We traveled with 16 players, the majority of which were new to the team, including three new to rugby. Of the three new to rugby, two of the brand new rookies were 43 and 44 years old respectively (but I’ll get back to this). I think we had 7 veterans total.
We started out strong, our brand new hooker (19-year-old Katie!) even stole a scrum and really impressed me with her leadership in bringing together our tight five (I played lock the whole game). Our new loosehead prop Meg brought a smart and relaxed leadership to our front row, two of whom were rookies.
Our new strongside flanker, Tricia, is small, but fast and a monster tackler. Just great to see on the field.
We moved one of our new backs, Chloe, to play scrumhalf and she rose to the challenge, just a force in directing, digging the ball out and laying a strong claim to the No. 9 jersey. She teamed up with our new flyhalf Jen, and we got some good ball out to our backs.
We struggled over time in finishing our scoring opportunities, getting close a few times, but not completing it. Since the team had so many new faces, we all just need time to get to know each other’s playing style and how to play together. Within our vets, we know each other’s games, we work together fluidly. So I’m looking forward to continued teamwork with all of new players.
So, yeah, the loss was disappointing, but overall I think it was a decent start to the season. It’s hard to explain that because we play in such a tough league that we have a demanding fall season and it will just get harder each game, but our team will get better each week too. One thing Meg and I discussed later, but tackling was pretty good.
I think everyone enjoyed the game though. And the social afterwards. We brought back the animal game. I have an excellent bunny impression and won the bunny off. No, I won’t explain that further.
No major injuries (always good!), but the inner side of one of my knees is not too happy. I believe I just strained the inner side of it again, so just some rest. I tackled a Chicago player, but when we landed, her knee landed hard on the inside of my knee, bone-to-bone. It was pretty sore right away, but no damage, so I ran it off. But two rucks later, I ended up at the bottom of a pile-up that went completely to ground and my leg – same knee – got stuck, twisted, under somebody else, than with two bodies on top of us. Thankfully, it twisted just enough that I could feel it, but not past that or worse. So it nagged me all game, but no damage done. My nearly 30-year-old knees carry on. 🙂
Sunday morning, Kelly, Meg and I, plus Big T and Kelly’s boyfriend, let’s call him Mr. Ohio (also a rugger) recovered from our games (the guys beat the Iowa Ducks Saturday in league) by getting up early and meeting at our team bar for breakfast and to watch the South Africa vs. Samoa world cup game on tv at the bar. A most excellent way to recover. And my sister joined us, so it’s always fun to hear her take on rugby (like our discussion of the very tight jersey tops). Samoa got spanked by South Africa’s more dynamic backline, 59-7 I believe.
Big T and I later borrowed my family’s 17-foot canoe and spent part of the afternoon paddling around Lake Wingra here in Madison. I think this helped with my soreness today, because the canoe was rather awkward and heavy for me to carry (Thank god for rugby-playing awesome boyfriends who carry more weight) and paddling the lake, especially the numerous times we got stuck in the weeds worked out my back to the brink of exhaustion. We’re hoping to do it again in a few weeks when the leaves start to change colors, because yesterday the lake was pretty quiet and there are so many trees, you forget that you’re in the middle of the city.
Coming up this week, first home game against Chicago North Shore.