Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Jolly Good Game

Sergio decided on Wednesday that he had gone far too long without an injury and joined the undergraduate Rugby team. Today, they had their first match against Reed College. You can see in the pictures that Sergio is on the team without matching uniforms, or even enough players. Despite all of this it was a good match. I think it was anyway. How would I know, having never seen so much as a rugby ball before today. This is one brutal sport. The willingness of these guys to throw themselves full force, without pads, into another human being is astounding. The sound of rugby is something all to itself. Football is marked by the clicking of pads and grunting, but rugby is the horrifying thud of skin smacking against skin. And once in awhile, the scream of agony that comes from a player separating his shoulder. Followed closely by an even louder scream as the ref pops it back into place, whether the guy wants him to or not.
I have to say, as a first time spectator, this might be the greatest sport ever. It is so fast, and rough, and constantly shifting. You can't get bored! As far as I can tell, the game never stops. Actually, it did stop for the shoulder thing and the guy with the bleeding mouth, but that was it.
Sergio seemed to be doing well. He tackled a lot of people, got right into the Rucks and Scrums, and he even had a special job where he got to yank another person up by their shorts so they could tip a ball. Often, I would be looking for him on the field and as a ruck fell apart, he would come crawling out from the bottom of the pile. Needless to say, he is in a lot of pain. His shins are scraped, his knees will be black and blue, something is growing out of his arm, and he can't take deep breaths or turn his head. What a game!
And after the match, both teams got together and gave three cheers to each other and then the ref. In the next moment, Reed (the winners) began a chant and ran in a circle. Inside that circle the two new players that had scored stripped naked and ran all the way down the field. I wish I could say they seemed embarrassed.
Rucks, scrums, body-slamming, and public nudity. What's not to like?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yep - none of this soft padding for us Brits, good to see you've taken up my national sport - enjoy!