GrandStand

Varsity 2017: The Saints Win Our Hearts

I have only been exposed to rugby twice before in my life.

The first time: My primary school sports teacher was a massive Wallabies fan. To win a local radio competition, he arranged the entire student body on the oval into the Wallabies logo while he took a photo from the gym roof. I don’t know why this was appropriate either.

The second time: My all-girls high school tried to introduce rugby into our PE classes. But after too many complaints about the “stupid” rules (like throwing the ball backwards instead of forwards and having to dive onto the rough AstroTurf to score) it was soon dropped.

But this Varsity match changed me. I can now say that I like and kind of understand rugby.

It started with the back pitch games. Watching the St Andrews second XV was a good warm up for my rugby knowledge. I was able to get quite close ( 😉 ) and, with help, I started learning what a “scrum,” a “try” and a “conversion” were – but I was still quite confused. At least the guys knew what they were doing. Or, at least, it looked that way to me. This game looked cool.

Then it was the Women’s XV. I had seen them warming up, and they looked ready. They looked fierce. I felt intimidated, but still very keen to see them in action. They put up an undeniably great effort throughout the match – especially Lanita Gutieva, who got our only try! – but unfortunately, Edinburgh was just that bit better, winning the game 53-5.

Sadly, it was similar scenes for the men’s game. The St Andrews 1st XV came out strong, and started the game off with a few runs down towards the Edinburgh side and some great tackles. But, alas. Not even Rob Lind’s try and Finn Murphy’s conversion (though much appreciated) could stop Edinburgh, who took the game and the title home after defeating us 31-7, their first victory since 2012.


a “scrum” apparently ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But hey, while Edinburgh may have won the game, our St Andrews rugby team definitely won our hearts. The thundering noise coming from the middle bleachers every time a Saint had a ball can attest to that.

So while I’m still unsure of the whole “rules” thing, I CAN CONCLUDE that I enjoyed going to Varsity 2017. Rugby ain’t too bad after all – it’s actually quite exciting. Who would have thought?

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