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Womens Rugby

By Cassie Pearson; Features Editor
On October 27, 2015

COURTESY PHOTO: FACEBOOK.COM/PLYMOUTH STATE WOMENS RUGBY FOOTBALL

Womens Rugby

Cassie Pearson

Features Editor 

When people hear of Rugby, one of the first things that they say is that it is a mix between soccer and football. Anyone who has ever played this sport knows that this just isn’t true. April Glenn, a senior Physical and Health Education major, points out that Rugby is the only sport where the rules don’t change based on gender.

Rugby is a game of trust among your teammates,” said Glenn. “It appears to be a giant mess of flying bodies when you watch your first game, but as you get to know the game more, it is about strategy and using your teammates wisely.” In each and every game, one can find themselves learning new things about the game.

There are two types of positions in Rugby that make up the 15 players. These are backs and forwards. “The backs are quick, smaller players that are able to run down the field with the ball,” said Glenn. Eight people make up these positions: two wings, two centers, a fly-half, a scrum-half, and a fullback. Hannah Andry is a senior Communications major who plays fly-half. This position is considered to be one for a player who can think quickly on his/her feet because of all of the decision-making they have to do during the game. Glenn is heading into her third year playing fullback. This is a very vulnerable position because it is separated from the rest of the team. They are there, by themselves, to make any tackles of players who are able to break through the defense.

The next seven players are forwards. They are bigger and stronger players that make harder tackles and use force to get down the field. One thing that differentiates Rugby from many other sports is the scrum. This is when forwards from each team lock together for a “face off of strength against teams,” said Glenn. During a scrum, the two teams fight for control of the ball, and who will be on defense.

Rugby is played in both the fall and spring. The fall season focuses on games on the weekends against teams within their conference. The spring season is revolved around tournaments. Beast of the East is a huge collegiate tournament that happens once a year in Rhode Island. PSU’s Women’s Rugby has walked away from this tournament with second place for two years in a row. Reflecting back on her time with the Rugby team, Andry said, “The highlight so far was making the playoffs this year!”

Being a part of a team can cause a lot of benefits. “The team is very close off the field, which helps us play stronger. I have met many of my best friends on the team in the past three years. Most of us hang out because the majority of us are really close friends. My favorite part about being on the team is how strong of a relationship all of us have with each other which helps us to play better on the field,” said Glenn.

Andry also stated that the friendships made on the team were the best part of joining. “[They] have now turned into my family,” said Andry “[Joining the team] truly changed my life for the better and it’s the best thing I’ve done at Plymouth State thus far."

The team can be found practicing on the Rugby field that is located behind the Ice Arena parking lot. They practice Monday through Friday from 4:45 pm to 6:45 pm.

Anyone with an interest in playing Rugby, or seeing what they are all about, should contact Glen at amglenn@plymouth.edu, or Captain Courtney Leahy at caleahy@plymouth.edu. Rugby experience isn’t required to join, and the team welcomes anyone interested to come to a practice to watch, or even participate. 

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