I was feeling rather reluctant before last night’s training session, following the previous week’s freezing mudbath, but I was delighted when I stepped out of the car and realised it was actually rather mild outside and pretty much lacking in rain. Hurrah!
To add to my delight, our regular pitch was so waterlogged that we were ‘forced’ to train on a sort of sandy, spare pitch instead. As well as the consequent lack of muddiness, this suited me for two reasons: as I am yet to purchase some proper rugby boots (I can be a little disorganised…), I was in my element in my old, increasingly mouldy, astro-turf hockey boots; and secondly, a hard surface meant no tackling. Hurrah again!
So the forwards trundled off to spend the evening shoving their heads between each others legs and practising cryptic, Masonic line-out calls, whilst us backs ran around like excitable puppies for an hour and generally ignored the pleading of the coaches to exercise some discipline in our tactics.
It was all rather fun though – three teams of four, with one team sitting out, trying to score trys against each other, ostensibly to practise having a flat defensive line (the battle analogies keep on coming) or a steep attacking line. If you can’t see both ears and both bum cheeks, girls, you’re not far enough back!
Once a team scored a try, the other team had to run off, whilst the third team came on – without stopping play. It was truly knackering, but fun for the winning team who could just sprint back and score again if the new team wasn’t quick enough to sort themselves out.
Once more, my generally rubbish fitness became apparent. We were running around so much you could actually see the steam coming off of everyone’s foreheads, racehorse style. And although I scored a triumphant try, the sprint required – and then the sprint back to attempt another score at the other end – nearly caused me to keel over.
I am off to the gym tonight to start rectifying this. I’m starting to think that being on the wing might be cool (and it was my old hockey position – mainly so I could just charge up and down, shouting loudly but not actually having to touch the ball all that often), but I’m not sure I can deliver the required Forest Gump-like speed just yet…
Thank you so much for your comments last week – I promise not to be too grumpy in future! And I’m too chicken to play a match yet, but I’ll keep you posted. Various friends and family members have threatened to come and watch my first outing, so I may have to keep it secret…