Rugby for reals

Way back in November, nearly 3 weeks ago, I played in my first (and only) rugby game. First of all, the end of November is COLD! And since I was obviously not a starting player, I spent the first part of the game jumping in place on the sidelines and shoving my ice cold hands into my armpits to keep warm.

I ended up playing scrum half back, which I had never ever played before and it really freaked me out. The scrum half gets to make a lot of decisions and yell at people, but considering I’ve never really played rugby, I didn’t feel so confident. “Scrum halves are often short and fast over a short distance and should also be very capable handlers of the ball. I pretty much only satisfy the “short” part.

In a nutshell, I roll the ball into the scrums and retrieve the ball from a ruck to pass it on. Definitely some moments of confusion, trying to grab the ball and not being able to roll the ball properly. But I had my moments. Doris complimented my quick retrieval of the ball from one particular scrum, and Amanda apologized for not catching one of my better passes.

In the end we won the game, only letting LSE (London School of Economics) score one try to our five, so my attempt at playing wasn’t completely disastrous. 😛

Since I have no pictures of me in my rugby kit, here’s some pictures from some rugby socials and events.

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Final score: 37-14

I went to support my team (my team! I’ve never had a team before) yesterday in our game against Brunel University.  As you can tell from the title, we won 37 to 14.  Brunel is in Uxbridge, which is in west London, pretty suburban.  The day started nicely, if a bit cold, when a small group of us took the Tube to Uxbridge and then a bus (“Are you girls going to watch your boyfriends?”  “Um, NO!”) to the University sports center (or rather, centre).  The game was nearly half over by the time we found the right field and then 20 minutes in it started to drizzle freezing cold rain.  Not fun.  But, fun to watch the team play a real game against an opponent, and fun to cheer everyone on.

Looks like rain

And for those concerned about me playing rugby, I could tell you that an ambulance had to be called for a girl, but then I would tell you that she was on the opposing team.  Maybe that’s not so comforting, but it really wasn’t too rough.

Here’s some pictures and a video (we’re purple).

Art, churches, and a surprise

My history class took us to Smithfield to visit the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great.  According to our teacher it’s the oldest surviving church in London, founded in 1123 by Rahere, a courtier of Henry I and according to a poster inside the church cafe, a scene from Shakespeare in Love was filmed here.  The first thing that greeted us was a Tudor style front that led to a courtyard.  Finally, the church.  It was pretty stark, grey stone walls, plain glass windows, no gold or colors, but there was a nice wooden choir screen, and rust and white checkered pavement.  As it turns out the church is missing a lot of parts, including the nave, the transepts, and 3/4 of its cloisters.  I guess you can’t really expect the oldest surviving church in London not to be crippled.  And now queue intelligent conversation about the distance between the nave and the altar that physically represents the spiritual distance laypeople felt from their religion.  Or something like that.

Yesterday my art history class was at the Courtauld Institute.  I’ve been there before with Emily when my uncle took us, but I still had a hard time finding it.  Standing for 2 hours when your body is incredibly sore (see next paragraph) is not a fun time, but I enjoyed the art (and seeing all the works I’ve learned about in previous classes).  Usually there’s an admission fee to get into the gallery, but since we were there for a class it was free, so I made sure to walk around after our lecture and take advantage of the whole not paying to get in thing.

Inner courtyard of the Somerset House (where the Courtauld Insititue is located)

On a non academic note, I’ve been trying out some of the clubs and societies, including rugby.  What?!?!!  Yeah.  I am so not prepared for this, I mean, I didn’t even bring running shoes, so I came to training in canvas Vans.  I missed the first week of practices, so never mind learning to pass and other basic stuff, I got to start my experience by learning to tackle.  Ha!  Yup, I tackled people (successfully) and got tackled (a couple of scrapes, no bruises).  Most surprising bit, I’ll be continuing with it, which means going out later today to buy proper shoes and a mouth guard.  Oh good grief, what am I getting myself into?  Now to figure out how to deal with the soreness (two days later and my neck is still sore… looking up and to the left is painful).