Match Report: Stone Lions Return Victorious from Memphis

Final Score
Nashville 29 v Memphis 14
Match MVP’s: Antea (backs) and Jameica (forwards).

The motto for the day “We beat their team, then rode their tiger…” Who comes up with these things??

Someone needs to tell that damn groundhog what’s up. A Saturday in March shouldn’t be filled with a wintry mix, right? But, nothing can stop the Stone Lions from traveling three hours through sleet and snow to play in freezing temperatures….well, except for 21st birthday celebrations. But that’s another story for another time.

With only 20 minutes left before kick-off, Nashville had an impressive showing of eight girls on the pitch. Every one of them booted and ready, anticipating their comrades to magically appear from their Dollar General bathroom excursions and frantic cleat searches. As we waited, we stared down the opposing Flamingos, watching as they continued to have a magnificent full-side practice before the game and wondering if there was any way in hell to convince them to play sevens. I think Flamingo coach, Tim, had an epileptic fit when I mentioned that so instead a 15-minute delay was given. That timing ended up being perfect. Miraculously, a full Nashville side was on the field as we kicked it off to Memphis.

For the first half of the game, there were brilliant pushes by the forwards. The majority of the time was spent on the Memphis’ side of the field. Crash after crash, Nashville moved up the pitch. But after all the pops, the Stone Lions were still unable to score, pushing the Flamingos all the way to their try zone. Memphis in a strategic play touched the ball down in their zone, and it went to a 5-yard scrum. Pressure on – the stoic Stone Lions yearned to win the scrum. But alas, the Flamingos got the ball. They didn’t get it well enough, though, and as it was passed back, the ball fumbled out of a player’s hands. Unbeknownst to them, one of the Nashville players (arguably the best looking one) was already darting through the opposition seeking to get her hands on the ball. With a few more shoves and dives, the prowess Stone Lioness had accomplished her goal, stole the ball, and touched it down to give the first try of the game to Nashville. After a brilliant kick by the graceful T-Rex, Nashville was up by seven. The only time Nashville had scored the first try against Memphis since this humble author had joined the team.

Memphis was not thrilled and two brilliant shoves to Nashville faces, allowed for a Flamingo to score seemingly effortlessly. The Lions were eager to not let this happen again. Juggernaut Susannah Crawford, in particular wanted revenge. Unfortunately, our scrum-half T-Rex was down and unable to continue badassing the pitch. In what could have been the most devastating point in the game (me as scrum-half), the pivotal (and accurately timed) arrival of Jewelia and Birthday Girl Bex saved the day! Two momentous plays followed. The gorgeous packies (Birthday Woman Rainy, Jameica aka “Flamingo # 2,” and Hodapp) played amazing support in what escalated to be a try by Sus, who powered through four Flamingos and I’m pretty sure another four were attached to her legs as she scored. But Sus’s thirst for vengeance was not filled! Claiming the ball from a downed back-line player later in the game, Sus mimicked her earlier try, giving Nashville another five on the board.

It took a bit to realize that the backs were eager to play as well. As the game progressed, more balls were thrown their way, and they continued to prove that backs are there to kick ass and run their little hearts out. Fly-half ‘Merica kicked and hollered her way into two brilliant runs by two of her back-line rookies. First-time fullback and then first-time inside center – Kat aka “Flamingo # 1” scored a magnificent try by evading the opposition back-line as well as guaranteeing herself a Zulu at NashBash (our fabled Spring tournament you will not want to miss!). After that, nothing could stop Nashville. Probably the best full-team trek down the field ended with a brilliant fake-out by Croatian Invasion Antea, who then continued her break away to score (and be claimed a true Zulu warrior). Translator’s note: so… what is all this about a Zulu and a Zulu warrior? Take a look at this clarifying link; and if that is not clear, here is perhaps a more straightforward explanation. It’s all about the culture in Rugby.

Still freezing but with huge smiles on their faces Nashville cheered as the end of the game whistle sounded. For the first time that I can remember, the Stone Lions formed a single line to greet Memphis after the game (second translator’s note: it is customary for the losing team to form two lines when teams come together to congratulate/thank each other at the end of a match). Camaraderie, good cheer, and birthday celebrations ensued.

By Gina Durkan

No Replies to "Match Report: Stone Lions Return Victorious from Memphis"