rugby championship

Another first for us: Rugby as a regularly-played sport! This island is full of expats from rugby-loving countries, so it's only natural that we should know a few friends in the local rugby league. (Speaking of rugby around the world, check out this friend-of-a-friend's blog post on rugby in Hong Kong. Shouldn't costumes be required at every game?!)

The league plays on Saturdays, and up until a couple weeks ago, our busy season work schedules prevented us from catching a game. So we figured we'd make some time for the last game - the championship - at the Rugby Club in South Sound.

A few of the guys NS works with play for the Iguanas. We joined their cheering section, camera in hand.

Iguanas on the left, opposition on the right:

I also had a fun time with the pink-clad refs. Breast cancer awareness? Nah; just the only color the other teams didn't take.


Then came the action. Despite the warm temperatures, no one avoided the physical contact that comes part and parcel of a proper rugby game.

By this point in the game (which was very early on), I could feel the sweat beading up on the back of my neck (and everywhere else) while just sitting on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, on the field...

My favorite part is this inbounding maneuver they pull, where someone gets lifted to make the catch.

I also like the close-ups of the runs and tackles.

Two of our pals take down the Cayman Storm.

And then there's the scrum - like a big huddle against the other team's huddle - both teams trying to snatch the ball, toss it out, and get the play moving.

I cannot (and will not) imagine what it smells like in the thick of the scrum.
 While the players duked it out, we moved to the shadier side of the field where everyone was much happier...

One more of my favorite:

We must have been a lucky charm or just picked the right game to attend, because the Iguanas won the trophy! So glad we were there to see it.

I still know very little about rugby. I know that a "try" is like touchdown (except, you have to actually touch it down.) I know you can't forward pass. I know the scrum comes after a disputed possession. It's a bit like American football, but not really.

Ironically, I'm writing this post while watching The Blind Side. Movies about football are almost as good the real thing, and the real thing is pretty good. I don't think I'm ready to replace my football interest with rugby. (Let's face it: I love the electrifying football pass plays, which rugby won't allow). But I can appreciate an obsession for a sport, and I enjoy being a cheering fan in general. So I'm on board.