DEVAN ANAND ’21
Trinity College has many sports teams to be proud of. From squash to crew, football to soccer, Trinity students excel and punch above their weight, as does the team that I am writing about today, the Trinity College Rugby Club.
Rugby, for those unfamiliar, is a full-contact team sport, which originated in the United Kingdom around the dawn of the 19th century. It moved from the UK to its colonies and is now played worldwide by around eight million men and women. In its most common form, it is played by two teams of 15 players each, on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts on each try line. Rugby is played with an oval shaped ball, which is only allowed to be passed by hand sideways or backwards. The goal of the game is to have more points than the opposition by the end of the match. A match consists of two halves of 40 minutes each. There are multiple ways to gain points. A “try,” scored by grounding the ball in the in-goal area is worth five points and the subsequent conversion kick is worth two. Points can also be gained from a penalty kick worth five points, or a drop kick, also worth three points.
Rugby is a fast-paced, action-packed game with very few penalties or lapses in open play. Even if you understand little about the game, it is an enticing and enthralling way to spend two hours. It is played without any protective padding or gear, all you need is a pair of cleats and a mouth-guard and you can play! It’s very easy to pick up, most players on the college’s team have little experience at the pre-collegiate level. Trinity College Rugby Club practices a few times a week, on the soccer pitch right beneath the Chapel. Rugby is not supported by the NCAA. Instead, it is under control of USA rugby, the association which controls all American rugby, from the schoolboys to the professionals. Trinity used to compete in something akin to the NESCAC division of the NCAA, but after completing an undefeated regular season in 2016 and moving quite far into the nationals, this year they were promoted and now face tougher opponents. The season started on a high-note with the team winning ten to three against Babson College of Boston in the first away game last Saturday.
Adrenaline is addictive, and there are few things as adrenalin-inducing as running at fifteen guys with a ball in your hand they all wish to possess. However, that isn’t the only thing which makes rugby impossible to quit. Rugby is a way of testing yourself, physically and mentally. Physically, the sport will take its toll on your body. However, the pain on the day after a game is more than made up for with the intense joy experienced during. Mentally, the sport teaches self-discipline, resilience and self-confidence. Most importantly, the comradery shared by a rugby team is like no other, and you will make friends you are willing to give everything for, both on and off, the field of play.
In the words of one of the players on the team, “Trinity College Rugby Club is a bunch of rag tag hooligans who get together and kick ass whenever they can.” And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
DEVAN ANAND ’21