Peninsula Rugby Game

March 30, 2018
By ,

It was the first of January. 2014. The day of the one of the most important rugby matches in my life. We had all lined up to get ready to run onto the field, necks lined with sweat, with the sun shining on our backs. It was us, the Peninsula Dragons versus the Island Lions. As the bell rung, we all jogged onto the field, in numerical order, and dispersed into our different positions. All that was left was kick-off. As our kicker prepared to kick, we all edged out across the midline of the field, preparing to chase after the ball.

As the ref blew the whistle, the ball was sent soaring through the air, in a long and high arc by our kicker. We charged across the line towards the receiving team: this opposing team was filled with boys of large stature, some towering over me as I ran toward the receiver. The receiver snatched the ball from the air in a leap that would make any Olympic high jumper proud, and came back down to the earth only to be smothered and tackled to the ground by me and another boy, named Mortimer. Mortimer was a rather large boy of German descent, with fair golden hair, broad soldiers, a large belly and a rather pudgy face that always wore a light frown. Me and him hadn't always gotten along too well, but it seemed we didn't need to get along well to take somebody down.

As we took him down and spread back out into our line, another boy on the opposing team took the ball and ran into our line, and was tackled again, creating a cycle that was rugby. This continued until we took the ball and ran the ball up on their side of the field. Possession of the ball would switch every so often. This cycle continued until one team or the other made a break or messed up, which would mean either the ball would be turned over, or the team in possession of the ball would score.

Eventually, an opposing player made a break: my teammates hitting him, but flopping and sliding off of him like dead fish. He made his way down the field and touched the ball down, signifying a "try" which is the term for scoring in rugby. We were behind by 5 points, and if their kicker got the extra points, we would be behind by 7. The kicker lined up to kick, and we got ready to charge up in an attempt to block it. As he began his run up, we ran up in an attempt to block; but to no avail. We were 7 points behind. Again, the cycled continued until halftime, the ref blew the whistle and we dispersed back towards the sidelines were our coach was waiting. Our coach briefed us on what we were doing well, and what we were lacking, and sent us back onto the field.

The opposing team kicked the ball, sending it through the air once again, straight into my hands. I ran the ball up a few yards before passing it off to a teammate, who sent the ball down the offensive line, each person progressively running up before passing it on before they were tackled. Finally, the play came to a halt when a boy named Anthony was tackled out of bounds right before the try line, and the ball put back in through a "line out". The other team once again took possession of the ball before booting it up field in order to put some space between their try line and the ball. As our team chased after the ball, a rather nimble boy on the opposing team sprinted past us, and grabbed the ball, carrying the ball across the line for another try. Unfortunately the kick was completed again, and we were behind 15-0. After this, the ref blew the whistle. The game was over. While it was disappointing we had lost, it was still a great experience, and it was a good learning experience as both a rugby player and a person. It taught me that whether you win or lose, there are still things that can be taken from the experience. In this case, I was humbled through losing, I learnt the value of losing, as well as what I was doing badly, and what I could do better.

 






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