The Pirates Rugby Season to Date

So, as I’ve mentioned…Andrew and I joined the Pirates Club Rugby this year. It’s been a bit of a crazy hectic season with both of us new to the sport, but we are loving it.

Pirates Prem 2’s

So, like all sports, there are different levels. For men, there’s the normal community touch, recreational leagues that you find everywhere, but there are also the official club leagues.

Andrew running
Andrew running

Andrew is playing on the premier 2 rugby team. This team feeds into the premier team, which feeds into the provincial teams (such as the Highlanders). There’s some quite competitive guys there!

A lot of them are surprised that Andrew is completely new to the sport since, like hockey in Canada, most of them have been playing rugby since they were 3-5 years old.

Andrew is doing really well and is usually playing most games (there are enough guys that they tend to put the newer players on for substitutions so that they can watch and learn more). He generally plays as a #14 winger. This means he is the back row defence; if he gets the ball he is supposed to take it and run as fast as he can up the sideline. It’s also his job to catch any of the opposing team’s offensive players if they manage to get a breakaway.

Andrew going for the ball
Andrew going for the ball

Unfortunately the men’s rugby team is struggling a little bit this year and has lost every game so far. They are getting closer though!

Pirates Wahine

Also know as Pirates Women. Wahine is Women in Maori. I’m learning!

My rugby team has done amazingly well this year. Although we officially lack a coach, I have learnt a great deal from the senior members of the team. While it is difficult for them, wanting to train with the team, but being forced to coach as well, I have been quite grateful!

Time to Tackle
Time to Tackle

One of our ladies has just gotten called up to the national rugby team (the Black Ferns), which says a lot for the quality of women’s rugby in Dunedin. Go Angie!!

The position that I play is #1, or the loose-head prop. It is my job to take a short pass and do my best to gain a couple of meters by charging straight into and through the opposing team. During a line-out, I’m in the front lifting our jumper, then driving forwards once we have the ball. During a scrum I am in the front row, binding onto the opposing team and trying to gain control of the scrum.

Lineout Lifts
Lineout Lifts

One of the best parts of being a forward in rugby on a cold or rainy day is the scrum…cuddle party!

Thus far, we have only lost one game, although we did draw with North Otago the second time we played them.

Pirates vs North Otago
71 0
Pirates vs Alhambra Union
103 7
Pirates vs Varsity
7 31
Pirates vs Southern
103 0
Pirates vs North Otago
34 34
Pirates vs Varsity
31 29
Two of my team-mates after the game
Two of my team-mates after the game

We have two more rugby games before the semi-finals and are hopeful that we can bring home the banner this year!

Rugby Injuries

Of course, you can’t play a full contact sport like rugby without a couple of injuries. Luckily, having a free and dedicated physio and clinic is part of being in the club!! Andrew’s injuries have luckily been quite minor, limited to a grade 1 hamstring pull and a few bruises and scrapes.

I, unfortunately, haven’t been quite so lucky. With only 3 minutes left in our game against Varsity I took a bad tackle from one of their props and felt my knee snap to the side, out of joint, and then back in. I then decided that it would be a very good idea to just lay on the field for awhile.

Owie...well taped up knee!
Owie…well taped up knee!

I was apparently quite concerned about where my mouthguard had gone since I lost it in the tackle (I got hit HARD). I mainly remember a lot of ouchie.

I am exceptionally grateful to my amazing team, from the opposing team’s physio who checked me out at the field (our physio was playing), to the manager who helped me off the field, to my awesome team-mates who took me to the sports clinic, took me to get crutches and dinner, and helped take care of me until Andrew could get off work. I couldn’t have done it without them!

As for rehab…it’s going…slowly…

It’s only been 4 weeks (I keep reminding myself). I have/had a grade 2 MCL sprain (the ligament on the inside of the knee) and possible/probable damage to the meniscus (which is the cartilage in the knee joint). The sprain is healing quite nicely, but I haven’t yet managed to regain mobility in the knee. It will bend from 0-90 degrees and simply refuses to bend further. I shouldn’t be able to put full weight on it, but I can. I can also manage all of the physio exercises without any difficulty…apart from my knee not bending. So it is probably off to the MRI to figure out exactly what is going on and why it won’t bend.