Thank God they made it home alive

With most varsity sports covered on campus on a weekly basis, we tend to forget about the clubs that compete in the competitive leagues outside of the Canadian Interuniversity Sports bubble but still bare the Dinos’ name.

The most recent club to draw attention to itself just happens to be those troublesome rugby boys. But how can you not expect trouble to occur when 29 guys venture to the UK for ten days of rugby culture, playing experience and a chance to see some of the best rugby in the world?

The trip took place over the reading week, and if you think it was really nice of the university to send a team to the UK, then you’re wrong. The team paid their own way through countless hours of fundraising, enough so that they have funds that will run into next season.

After finishing third in the Canada West playoffs, and with a head coach like former Leicester Tiger and current Team Canada member Dave Lougheed, these Dinos were set to make their mark in the UK. Unfortunately, they did not exactly leave the impression they were hoping to.

“Going against guys your age, who are already playing pro–it’s amazing to see what they can do on the field” said team member James Beck. “These guys were amazing, it was those little skills they have down that shock you.”

By the tone in his voice and the smirk on his face I knew the outcome of the three games played must not have been pretty–and sure enough, it wasn’t. But I promised to keep that information confidential, but that shouldn’t stop any of you from asking them the scores on their games.

Beck put it to me this way. “These teams are like our Canadian hockey team and we are some no-name country coming in to play their game,” he said. So just imagine the ass whooping!

Though the team did not fare as well as they would have liked, the trip did have its bright spots. The U of C boys got a chance to see two of the world’s best, England and France, go at it in front of 75,000 screaming fans, during the prestigious Six Nations Cup. One player bought scalped tickets for just under $200 while eight others just sneaked in.

With great weather and a confused bus driver that never seemed to find his way, the team never lost their way and why they were there. It was all for the experience, a chance to learn about the game’s history and a new perspective of how it is played by the best.

“We discovered a much faster game” said Beck. “We learned new skills that can’t be taught, but that you just pick up over time. We also learned to play more collectively, and step away from such a conventional style.

“We are so used to playing a game where everyone has a position,” he added. “But over there, the players all help each other out and there is no real role besides to play as one.”

With all the lack of sleep and the tough battles on the field, the Dinos still found themselves going out with their competitors–before and after each game–in a show of true sportsmanship. These adventures also become a viable excuse to their performance.

Overall, the trip was considered a success, and trips for next season are already in the works to either South America or South Africa. Hopefully these Dinos can pull off at least one win.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.