The tournament finally started and our first match was what we expected our hardest match to be against South Africa. When we scouted them out and my teammates saw them on the practice fields they seemed intimidatingly strong with a playing style to back up their strengths: a lot of hitting up the center. We prepped and talked about it for a long time the night before and finally we were getting to the pitch.
And I needed to pee.
I swear I’m not going somewhere awkward.
But I didn’t want to go in the porter-potties. They are always smelly and closed off and there was a perfectly good bathroom house just outside the fields as we were entering.
The rest of my team went ahead while I hit the toilet.
When I came out, I ran into – lo and behold – the South African team. So I didn’t just run into them. There was a fence on one side of the walkway leading to the entrance to the fields which was also the same side the toilet-house was on. Basically as soon as I exited the bathroom and stepped on the pathway I was surrounded on all sides by the South African team. EXTREMELY AWKWARD.
I mean hello people that I watch on my computer screen while I’m in bed obsessing over how awesome you all are. Oh and I’m going to be playing you in a little. That’s cool, right. Kinda don’t want to fraternize with the enemy though…
So we took them on. They ran hard and put us under pressure we weren’t ready for. We lost. But we fucking played South Africa. Okay, actually I was cheering on the sidelines. But my team took on South Africa!
Our second game was against the USA Select which was a side that had some Eagles and some potential Eagles. The first thing you should know about this game is we technically won according to a rule technicality that was not followed. We beat them!
We didn’t beat them.
But they showed up to the field late by such a time that according to the rules they technically forfeited.
They were warming up just behind the try zone. We had already fielded the pitch and they were just tossing their balls around. Finally they get around to putting on their jerseys and coming onto the field when they put on their navy jerseys. I nearly died laughing. We wear dark blue jerseys. Aka it’d be difficult to distinguish the two of us. As such they eventually got their red jerseys on and got on the field.
I didn’t get on until half time, right after they scored a try on us. (They scored quite a few in the first half as well) They drop-kicked it and it came straight to me.
My heart was already pounding just by being on the field again. I am always a bit terrified, nervous and jittery until I get my first hit or contact. Then I soar. But I had already seen this was a tough game. Also it was fucking USA and time to prove myself!
So I was a little nervous seeing the ball come right to me. I could say I was thinking about how I was telling myself how I couldn’t mess it up in the first second on the field, but really I just went and caught it. USA was coming up strong on me so I off-loaded it to my wonderful support JT who took it into contact. Emilia was there for JT’s support and grabbed it from JT’s hand-off. Emilia broke through a tackle and as another defender converged on her, she off-loaded it to me.
I saw the space.
I saw the try zone.
And I began running like hell.
According to Amy, who was right there for support, there were for USA girls coming after me as I sprinted to the try zone. One of them got me just as I scored the try. But we fucking scored against USA!!!!
Oh, and we were the only team all day to get a point against USA so props to us. So what if we lost against a team that knows each other well and has been playing with each other. Stars and Studs for life!
After all that hard work and excitement, I definitely worked myself up an appetite. Well on the way in there were a bunch of tents that were selling things.
Surprise, surprise. Hello corporate America.
But there was a stand that was advertising meat patties made in New Zealand style.
I couldn’t resist.
Basically it was like a potpie in a handheld form. So delicious and way too hot for a day like that.
Then at the end of the day there was a parade for the USA Sevens Las Vegas. It was a giant crowd of ruggers/rugby fans, many of whom were drinking beer. All of the teams came to the stage and took selfies with the crowd. Japan even almost danced which would have been crazy. One of the teams were dressed in tribal gear which was pretty awesome. Although the guy in front looked extremely serious and not too keen on being there. So here’s some pics.
Don’t forget to follow @starsrugby on Twitter for live updates on the Stars games, I’m playing on Stars 2 Women’s Elite. And you can also catch the matches on lvi.pitchero.com. Otherwise catch the Vegas pro games cause they’re wonderful!