Match Report: Epic Victory Over Lee, Way to Start the Season

Final Score
Nashville 15 v Lee 10 (We didn’t have a T… all kicks failed.)

Wow, was this a fun match! Let us start the day with a water-logged field in Cleveland TN, the Stone Lions caravan nearly to Chattanooga before we hear anything about a possible game cancellation, a hasty and desperate change of location and a kick-off time nearly an hour earlier than anticipated… There was chaos and disorganization, zero time to warm up, players screeching to a halt jumping out of cars, putting their boots on, on the run toward the pitch, whistles blowing with only 14 Stone Lions on the pitch, screaming and shouting. And the match had not even started!

A HUGE thank you to Chattanooga RFC who lent us space on their field during their tournament, saved the day!

In any case, once the game got going it was a wonderful thing to watch. Your Nashville Women – many of them playing rugby for the very first time – ran solid, organized lines, executed pre-planned plays to perfection, kept up steady and calm heads on defense. Well, none of these things happened until sometime toward the end of the first half. But what we lacked in the cohesiveness that only comes from practice and time, we made up for in passion, stubbornness and fiery dedication.

The first try was by Lee – fastball to the outside and their Winger (I think – never can tell those Backs apart…) beating us in the corner to run it all the way in. Hot on the chase was T-Rex, but to no avail. Close to half-time the Stone Lions answered with a try of their own – who scored that one, does anyone remember? It was a beautiful play by the back line, faking left with a switch right and finding space near the corner of the try zone. (Sources later identified the scorer as Flanker Gina).

The second half was far more memorable to this, your humble author, for the simple reason that I got to play. With two brand new tight-five players, we still managed to dominate on scrums, even stealing their put in a few times – mad props to Bex and Marney. Our Forwards pods were effective, and our Back Line used a quick ball to good effect. Until that one play where only Danni showed up, and Scrum Half Jewelia had to carry it in herself – sorry Jewels. Our rucks were won but need to be stronger and faster; our defense held but needs to be flatter and more coordinated. We’ll get there!

The second half saw two tries by Nashville, one a breakaway run by Ashley, culminated by a brilliant finish by Linds; the second (the glorious winning try), believe it or not, a sneak-in by Tighthead Prop Rainy after a successful scrum and a pick-and-go by Eight-man Sus, who specifically requested to be mentioned in this beautifully written article. It plays like this when the truly learned, discriminating Rugby connoisseur asks: what do you call all those people always hanging around Rugby players? And the answer is: Backs! All in good fun, Backs. You know you have all the glory.

As an example of said glory! A moment burned indelibly into this author’s mind, a crucial, decisive and momentous play was the return run by none other than the T-Rex, who ran a kick back over half the length of the pitch, darting this way and cutting that way, even offloading with a dummy pass to totally befuddle the first defender (that poor girl!). It was, as T-Rex accurately, yet modestly puts it, “The greatest play of my life”. Go, Lindsey! I am just glad you are playing for us and not them.

Lastly, let me take a moment to sincerely apologize to the two three(!) players we lost in the confusion, Hodapp (whose name I can never spell) and Alethia – AND Jen Rycroft aka Ry Ry. (Jen was so lost, in fact, that she only surfaced to my knowledge sometimes the Monday after…) These were key players we had to do without! We barely managed to pull out the win without these two three titans of rugby, these two three champions and pillars of the team, these generously forgiving hearts. I mean, we had to lift Gina in the lineouts, need I say more? I can probably jump higher on one foot than I can lift G…

By Rainy Atherton

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