Ahhhh the joy of a road trip! I travel nearly every week for work, but NOTHING compares to a good old fashioned rugby road trip. Even after playing rugby on and off for over a decade, I still have the time of my life with my teammates who I am proud to say are amazing women one and all.
Since you all should know the rule: “what goes on tour stays on tour”, you’ll just have to come out to practice or a game to get the scoop 😉
First I must give a quick shout out to our rookie, Lynn Zwica. She injured herself at the gym earlier in the week, and couldn’t make the trip but she came to practice and brought a friend to try rugby. If one were to receive points for being awesome, Lynn just scored 1000.
And now to the match report…..and perhaps a few random musings about rugby:
Rugby is just one of those things that I think we all wish we could do as a full time profession–I mean if we could train all week, and play all weekend that would be amazing, right? The reality is rugby is one of the many things that add up to who we are and that part tends to change in scope over time.
One thing that doesn’t ever change in scope for me personally is the sheer joy of being a part of a team. When we all scrambled last Friday to escape our “normal” lives to hit the road, it was bittersweet that we only had 11 souls able to travel; however once we passed over the Michigan border into that “O” state, and ceremoniously chucked our morals out the window ;-), the atmosphere lightened as we looked ahead to leaving our troubles behind and began to have a seriously fun time!
By 11 PM Friday, our Lady Vikings had all arrived in Pittsburgh and we settled in for the night.
Saturday woke to a cool, crisp fall with some dappled sun as we prepared ourselves for the day ahead…PERFECT rugby weather.
By 11:30, we had packed the cars and headed out to the park for the match.
There were a few concerns about the day, as we were picking up a few players from the Pittsburgh Highlanders and we weren’t sure what positions they played or even how many they’d send our way; Yikes! But being prepared for the unknown is our specialty so we decided to not worry about it until we arrived and we had a dance party in the car instead. 🙂
After a 30 minute drive/dance party, we arrived to a warm sunny Saturday afternoon, ready to take on the challenge that lay ahead.
We quickly got ready and waited to meet our Highlander teammates, and about 10 minutes later, we had a full 15 +1 and filled all of our gaps for the match.
Kickoff sounded with Ann Arbor on defense. Pittsburgh came out strong and scored quickly off of a few deep kicks into our territory that could not be recovered cleanly.
It seemed the Angels had the upper hand, but this did not slow us down!
10 minutes in and down 2 tries, Ann Arbor put the pressure on as our pack advanced strongly, supported by our backs, and we pushed them back into their half.
Possession was very difficult to maintain as Pittsburg’hs donkeys put the pressure back at us with some really fancy rucking but Ann Arbor managed to poach a few balls and keep the drive on.
Scrums proved challenging as the Angel’s seemed to think that “engage” on our put meant they could barge the line–no no ladies! Although the ref warned them, he never called a penalty so we just had to deal. Strong work tight 5 in the face of this situation!
In the second half, there were some shenanigans that lead to the sir keeping his cards close at hand. As emotions flared, I’m proud to say we kept our cool and our heads held high (even after I was late tackled no less than three times–did I say how awesome it is to get railed after you pass or kick the ball?!)
At the end of the match, we shook hands, brushed it off and headed out to the 3rd Half.
Of course, being Lady Vikings, we dominated the social and had a fantastic night in various parts of Pittsburgh (again, you must ask if you want details).
Many thanks to those who made the trip, and a special thanks to the Pittsburgh Highlanders who joined our ranks for the match.
See you all in Akron next Saturday 🙂