Match Report: AAWRFC vs Pittsburgh

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 🙂

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Match Report: AAWRFC vs. Cleveland

Wow what a weekend!

Our first home match has come and gone, and I’m thrilled to say that with very little practice as a group, we really came together Saturday to play some amazing Ann Arbor Rugby!

Here’s a quick summary of the weekend:

Friday 9/9: Just hours before we were set to line the pitch at Riverside, the city of Ann Arbor canceled due to rain–so several phone calls later, we secured Millpond park in Saline for the game.  A big thank you to the ladies who came out to help line the field:  Lynn Zwica, Katie Zucker, Moosie and of course Matt Frech 🙂

Saturday morning woke to pouring rain, but this did not dampen the spirits of our lady Vikings!  Allison and Moosie met at the Frech farm early to gather the posts from the men and to ensure that all our women were enroute to the park for the match, CIPPed and had proper gear.  Allison showed her prowess as my co-pilot and team lead communicator by texting and calling to check on arrival times and status for our team, while I drove the suburban to gather the posts.

Moosie was our lead transport as she traversed the North end of town to pick up Teef and Cookie; our car-less contingent.

At 11:30 on the nose, the Suburban arrived at Millpond and we quickly assembled the posts, had a quick run through and stepped on to the pitch in our very sexy uniforms 🙂 Kick off resulted in a quick score by Cleveland but Ann Arbor immediately turned up the pressure and never looked back.  Everyone on the team contributed to this success!

First, a shout out to the rookies: just minutes into the game Lynn and Cookie were involved and working hard to defend our territory.  Starns, on the open side flank dominated the rucks and mauls and made some amazing tackles.

Our old girls (and new old girls) also showed off their sassy skills!
Our scrum could not be stopped. Period. Our lineouts were near perfect and we disrupted many of their put ins.

When we had the chance to get out to our backline, we worked well as a unit and drove over the gain line to move the ball forward and score–strong work backs!

The final score was 40 to 20 in favor of Cleveland, but Ann Arbor maintained possession most of the match and made Cleveland work very hard for each and every try.
I don’t know about you but it felt really GOOD to be back on the pitch!

After the match, the third half (social) was a spectacular time, as we re-connected with our old friends from Cleveland in song and drink until late in the evening.
A good time was had by all!

Finally, many thanks to our fans for braving traffic and rain to watch Ann Arbor Rugby: (Katie Page, Merill, Liz, Herb, Scott and some new friends); we really appreciate your support!

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IMPORTANT UPDATE!

Hi Team!
I hope you are all on your way to a lovely Labor Day weekend!

Next week is going to be critical to preparing for our first HOME GAME against Cleveland, so please try to get out to at least one practice if you can.

Here is the schedule for next week:

Monday: Off for the holiday!
Tuesday: Practice 6-7:30 @ Riverside Park Ann Arbor
Thursday: Practice 6-7:30 @ Riverside Park Ann Arbor
Friday: 6 PM Meet up at Riverside Park to line the pitch and put up the posts– 8 PM we will then head over to my place to watch some rugby and talk about the plan for Saturday

SATURDAY IS A RUGBY DAY!
Meet at Riverside Park Ann Arbor no later than 11:45 AM.  We must be booted up and ready to warm up by Noon.  Kick off is at 1 PM sharp.
Social to follow at Island Park Ann Arbor.

Some important housekeeping:

1) I need you to email aawrfc@gmail.com to confirm you are available to play on Saturday and if you can help on Friday.
2) CIPP CIPP CIPP: we cannot play unless we are all CIPPED: go to http://www.usarugby.org and sign up
3) For the social everyone needs to bring a dish to pass.  The club will purchase meat to grill and beverages but we need some help with sides

Looking forward to an awesome week!
Best,
Jamie

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Training Schedule

Team!

Here is our schedule for the next few weeks leading up to our first HOME GAME 🙂

Monday 08/29: Fitness Training @ Frech Farm (5555 Thomas Rd Ann Arbor) 6-7 PM
Tuesday 08/30: Practice @ Riverside Park AA 6-7:30 PM
Thursday 09/01: Practice @ Riverside Park AA 6-7:30 PM

Monday 09/05: Labor Day! No practice but do something fun 🙂
Tuesday 09/06: Practice @ Riverside Park AA 6-7:30 PM
Thursday 09/08: Practice @ Riverside Park AA 6-7:30 PM

Our First Home Match is Saturday 09/10 @ Riverside Park Ann Arbor.  To compete in this match we need 15 People CIPPed.  Please go to: http://www.usarugby.org and register.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns!
aawrfc@gmail.com
734.223.5994

Best,
Jamie

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Rugby Clinic 1: 08/11/2011 (Thursday)

Just a quick reminder about our first clinic this Thursday starting at 6PM @ Burns Park in Ann Arbor.
http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=6290247372820078026&q=Burns+Park&dtab=2&sll=42.266944,-83.729803&sspn=0.006295,0.010505&ie=UTF8&ll=42.271275,-83.741183&spn=0,0&z=16

For those of you who’ve never been there, you can park in the school parking lot if it’s open, or on the road.
We’ll be set up near the playground closest to the school.
Look for cones 🙂

Please wear cleats, and I’d recommend a mouth guard as we’ll get into some contact towards the end.
Also, don’t forget to bring some water!

We’ll start at 6 and go until 7:30.

Directly following the clinic, we’ll head on over to Frasier’s Pub on Packard for some beverages and socializing 🙂

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Get Ready AAWRFC!

Hi AAWRFC,
Get excited!!!

As we are hurtling towards the official kickoff of our season I wanted to take care of a few housekeeping items:

1) All active players must CIPP with USA Rugby by our first league game (Sept. 10th).  Please go to the site:

http://www.usarugby.org

Click on “Membership” on the left hand side-rail.
Register for the 2011-2012 Season
Ann Arbor Women’s Rugby Football Club must be chosen as your club

If you have questions about this call or email me: 734.223.5994 aawrfc@gmail.com

Please note: there is a part where you must print and sign a waiver–don’t worry about this. I’ll print the waivers and bring them to our next gathering for you to sign.

2) Gear: in preparation for the season, you will need the following items:

Cleats: must not have a toe cleat–soccer cleats are good but if you are a forward (if you don’t know what this means just go with soccer cleats 🙂

I highly recommend rugby cleats with metal posts.
Here are some sites where you can order a pair:

http://www.worldrugbyshop.com/
http://www.rugbyimports.com/
http://www.ballsout.com/rugbycleats.htm

If you go with Soccer cleats, they have them everywhere and I found the best prices at Meijer or the outlet mall up in howell (Addidas Outlet).

Shorts: Rugby Shorts (for those who don’t know) are very sturdy cotton or synthetic fiber with a drawstring.  The same sites listed above offer shorts as well.  Please get a pair of Navy.
I have several pair in women’s M or S that I’d be willing to sell for a few bucks 🙂

Socks: Rugby socks can also be found at the sites listed above.  We wear solid navy or navy/white stripes.  But if you have another color or pair that’s fine too.
Again I have several pair for cheap if you don’t mind a gently used pair 🙂

Hit me up with any questions!!

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Summer and Fall Schedule Update

Thank you again to all the ladies who joined us for our first team meeting this past Friday.  We covered a lot of ground so here is a quick summary:

All training will begin the second half of August.  

We will host two Rugby Skills Clinics this summer:
Clinic 1: Thursday August 11th @  Burns Park Ann Arbor 6-7:30 PM with a social event to follow.
Clinic 2: Saturday August 27th @ Frech Farm from 2-5 PM with a social event to follow.

Official practices start the week of August 22nd (check out the calendar–it’s updated too!).
Location TBD but we’ll run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-7:30 with an optional Fitness training (at the Frech Farm) on Mondays from 6-7 PM.

Game Schedule:
September 10th: HOME against Cleveland
September 17th: Away @ Pittsburgh
October 1st: Away @ Akron
October 8th: HOME against Buffalo

We are also working to schedule a few friendly matches at home to fill in a few weekends.

Depending on how things go, playoffs are 10/15 and 10/29-30.

Our next team meeting is this Thursday from 7-9 at the Corner Brewery in Ypsi.  Come meet some new people and discuss our team structure/goals.
I will be updating our schedule page and will continue to send updates to our group so don’t forget to sign up!

All the best!
Jamie

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