“Ruck me, maul me, make me scrum!” These are the words the fearless women on the rugby team scream, before running onto the pitch for a rugby match. For those who do not know, rugby is a contact sport in which two, 15-member teams try to move an oval ball up the pitch or field and place the ball down behind the 10-meter line to score a try, also known as 5 points. The contact part of the game is the tackling of players to try and stop the progression of the ball up the pitch. There are also plays such as scrums as well as rucking, the basic description of these are opponents use their strength to gain control over the ball. This entire description of the game of rugby is very basic and does not even touch the subtle complexities of this famed sport.
For the past four years the Women’s Ruby team has slowly but surely made a comeback on this campus. With a new group of passionate girls the team has gone from having barely enough members to play a full match, to a team with substitutes on the sidelines. This would not have been possible without the hard work of Grace Watson and Michaelyn Hunter (plus many more dedicated members on the executive board but there are too many to name, you know who you are). These two now seniors took over the team in the beginning of their sophomore year, and using their charisma and power of persuasion they were able to compose a team of SLU students to play this adrenaline filled game. Since then, the team has only grown, and in more than just numbers. The women’s rugby team has also strived to improve themselves but also the surrounding campus and community, each year they volunteer at make a difference day and provide entertainment at Relay For Life by teaching a clinic on Rugby for beginners.
This fall, September 16th, was the first time the women’s rugby team won a game since its change in leadership three years ago! This is a huge milestone for the team. This win can be contributed to the determination of the players, the guidance of their new coach Ed, and the leadership of the Team captains. The Red Dogs (their team name) beat Paul Smith, coming back from a huge deficit in the second half to win the match 32-27. They hope to continue to improve throughout their upcoming season, with their next game against Potsdam this Saturday. Being part of an intermural sports team on campus is fun, but what is even better is being part of a sports team you never imagined yourself playing in your entire life. The women’s rugby team is not just a team, but rather a group of passionate women redefining the stereotypical image of a rugby player. They are dedicated, powerful, and most importantly fun-loving. If you want to follow as their season progresses or even join the team, you can find them on Instagram at st.lawrence_university_wrugby!