The Tigers played their first match on artificial turf and it was quite an experience. We found out that the ball bounces a bit differently on turf. It tends to bounce true… but higher.
The pitch was beautiful. Permanent painted lines for rugby in this dedicated stadium. I drooled all over the pitch. Didn’t particularly like the turf sine it had little give, but it sure was pretty.
As far as the outcome at KSU, well… we did it again. Lost the first one and won the second one. In the first match, Mark Williams again showed that he is dang hart to tackle. He broke loose for our only try of the day. Josiah Shipley power ran all day as well as did Cameron Walton.
The forwards won rucks easily and cycled the ball quickly. We still have some problems with the counter ruck due to our size. We need to win the ruck and leave.
August Myers had a close encounter with the no-give surface and broke his collar bone. He is so muscled up that we could not tell it was broken until it was x-rayed today. (Two physicians on the sidelines called it a sprain.)
We ran hard, but had difficulty getting into the try zone. Had some problems with the wind in the first half, but, of course, it died when it was our time to take advantage of the blow. (figures!)
I cannot take away from KSU. They ran hard and countered our kicks well. We had some folks in new positions that stepped up to play this match. I am very proud of their effort.
We are playing very good rugby, we just need to put more points on the board.
Scoring: Mark Williams (5), Thomas Strickland (5), Bauer (5), Ian Curry (5), and J.C. Russell with two conversions.
KSU were great hosts. We had a great time getting to know them better. The encouraged us to beat Georgia Tech the next day and gave us tips on how to take them down.
Then the lads eased their sore muscles in the hot tub at the Ramada. Ahhhh.. Yes! 10 large pizzas for a bed time snack and we were in good shape.
We drove to the heart of Atlanta to play Georgia Tech. We found the pitch behind an abandoned middle school. Unfortunately, it was a mess. The pitch was as bad as the KSU pitch was good.
Virtually nothing was right. We began by noticing that the lines were all wrong. Then Swat noticed the metal bars sticking out of the try zone. I saw the metal grates at the edge of the touch line. We were rather stunned and confused.
When the referee showed up, he ran the pitch and quickly became furious. He played super league in his past and had a bit of an accent. He could not believe that someone would actually attempt to play on the pitch. He called off the match. It was like being in the twilight zone.
GA Tech explained that they had been struggling to find a pitch since theirs was under construction. They thought they would have been able to use Emery’s pitch, but that fell through at the last minute.
We contemplated going straight to the social, but it was not going to be ready for four more hours. So, we saddled up and headed home.
The referee had us take pictures of the concerns and they are now at the Southeastern Rugby Referee’s Society. I have no idea what happens next.
Georgia Southern is coming to Memphis this weekend. Kick-off is at 1:00. These lads are beatable. They barely got away from us in the last match and we had just driven 11 hours and played in 32 degrees up hill in a 30 MPH wind. We need to take this one. Rally the troupes and get there to cheer us on to victory.