Today I watched the UK Womens Rugby team beat Oberlin College to continue in the playoffs of the Ohio Rugby Union. I felt compelled to write about them because they played one of the greatest games i’ve ever seen.
Both teams played with ferocity. But UK’s women are undefeated this season, and I think They have a real shot to go undefeated.
One girl scored all 4 of UK’s tries. And at least 3 of the 4 were 50-60 meter breakaways where she got chased the whole way to the try line. After her last try she had to come out for a leg injury. She limped off the field covered in mud, and had a black eye. She got an ovation from the crowd( standing of course, b/c theres no seats by the pitch)
Another girl who played tough was one of UK’s flankers; She has a degenerative eye disease, and is legally blind. This season will likely be her last, because her vision impairment makes it dangerous for her to play( obviously). Today I say hi to her before the game; her response " My right eye really isn’t working." She plays the whole game. Last season she had multiple concussions. Whenever you see her go down, you know it could be bad news. In the last 5 minutes of the game today she goes into contact with the ball, gets tackled and hits her head on the ground. After about 3 minutes she stands up, and her teammates try to get a substitution for her. Instead of going off the field, she refuses to stop playing. After insisting she gets off the field she says to her team captain " I’m not going off," and spits a big loogie right on the pitch. This is a girl who is BLIND in one eye, legally blind in the other eye, could have possibly had a concussion, stands 5 feet 2 inches, and weighs less than 120. If i’ve ever seen a bigger display of guts in sports, I can’t really recall. She plays the rest of the game, and gets her hands on the ball at least 2 more times before the last whistle. I’m nominating her for the “Hard as nails Club”.
This is a club team, that means no scholarships. These girls Pay to Play. I’ve seen guys who had less balls than these girls. None of them were taking no for answer. After the game some of the guys went to the pub, but the girls didn’t come to the pub. They got everything they wanted.
They have another game next weekend some where in Ohio. This year it’s gonna be UK All The Way!