Tournament Report: Stone Lions Take Third at Ruggapalooza
v. Illinois U: 32 – 0
v. Lindenwood: 0 – 19
v. SIU: 10 – 0
v. Illinois State: 12 – 5
v. Chicago: 0 – 15
Five matches in one day, I do believe that is a record for this team! Truly can it be said of these Stone Lions that, “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” could have stopped us from our mighty purpose. Well, it didn’t actually snow, but all the rest. Ten or twelve soaked, and muddy rookies took the pitch that morning, and as many tested and proven rugby players stepped off that evening. Third place in the tournament (see outstanding trophy pictured right), but first place in spirit, courage and team-building, I say!
Impossible to convey, oh steadfast reader and follower of these Stone Lions, every spectacular play of a day as long as this. Thus, I offer to you a set of highlights; snapshots of the action worth remembering. As always, fellow student of the game, recall this column is no more than its title claims: Perspectives from the Front Row… and the front row spends most of the match with its head buried in mud and armpit alike.
Outstanding addition to the squad, already dubbed by her grateful backline “The Perfect Ten”, Molly Walters, Flyhalf, scores her first try with NWRFC and is added to the growing Zulu Warrior list!
In her farewell US appearance, Katherine “Kiwi” Oliver, Center, gave a performance worthy of the record books. Kiwi started in every match, gained an average of 57 meters per half, had 17 stiff-arms or otherwise broken tackles and scored numerous times. The most entertaining part was to watch the rookies’ mouths hanging open as she showed us all that it looks like to be a rugby player. This correspondent, along with the entire team, grieve your departure, Kiwi.
Rainy Atherton, Prop, and sometime 8-Man, achieves her top-scoring season ever, with 2 tries in the first day of the season. There is hope for her yet…
Heather Smith, Winger, clearly channeling past-life experience as a rugby player, landed 98% of tackles attempted, an impressive success rate on defense. This is one player to watch!
To Sarah Kirby, Full-Back, this amateur sports writer attributes the best kick-off return after a deep kick during the Lindenwood match. Not so much for the run but for the fearless bone-crunching tackle accepted near mid-field, without turning over the ball. Could the run be better? Sure. But more exciting to watch? Impossible!
And one last one, not to bore you, oh tireless Stone Lions supporter: I ask you, what runs like a Center, tackles like a Prop and tells raunchy ghost stories? Flanker Cybbi Barton out of Texas. What a fantastic addition to the Pack and to the Social alike. Cybbi is a solid player (in every sense of the word, I bet) and the epitome of a Flanker.
By Rainy Atherton