Bleacher Report: Rugby club watches and learns from professional Argentina vs. USA game

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Bleacher Report: Rugby club watches and learns from professional Argentina vs. USA game

Courtesy of Stephanie Holden

Courtesy of Stephanie Holden

Courtesy of Stephanie Holden

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Sean eternos los laureles / Que supimos conseguir / Coronados de gloria vivamos / O juremos con gloria morir,” sang Eagles fans and Jaguars fans alike. Just minutes later, audience members wearing rugby jerseys and American flag patterned outfits enthusiastically cheered when the opening notes to “The Star-Spangled Banner” rang through the crisp air.

At 7:00 on February 6, fans stood up in bleachers to sing the Argentina and U.S. national anthems at the U.S.A. versus Argentina rugby game held at BBVA Compass Stadium. This game, which was attended by the Southwest Houston Girls’ Rugby League, was a combination of jeers and cheers as the players rucked and scrummed their ways down the field.

Rugby is a relatively unknown sport to many people in the Houston area. Many people don’t know the details of the sport. The basics of the sport are as follows: 1. The ball can only be thrown backwards; 2. When a player goes into contact, it is called a ruck. 3. Some things, like knock-ons (when a player drops the ball,) call for line-outs. This is when a player from each team is lifted off of the ground and fight for the ball in the air. 4. When a minor infringement occurs, a ruck is formed to restart the game. This is when players form a kind of circle, and one player from each team fights to kick the ball out of the circle.

The professional Argentina versus U.S.A. game was a fifteens game, because there were fifteen athletes on the field representing each team. The small-scale version of rugby, which Bellaire’s own Rugby Club plays, is called sevens, because each team only has seven players on the field at a time.

At the game, Rugby Club members and other members of the Southwest Houston Girls’ League watched and learned during the two forty-minute halves. The game went into overtime, but eventually ended as a tie (rugby games can do that.) With scores of thirty-five to thirty-five, the game was intense. One U.S.A. player was even taken off the field with a bloody beard.

Despite the intensity of the game, though, there was some light-heartedness. At halftime, a pee-wee rugby league consisting of five-year-old boys from the Woodlands played. Then, a high school boys’ team did exercises on-field to win free game tickets. The Eagles mascot even gave a box of chocolates to a female fan in the front row for Valentine’s Day!

This game, the kickoff to the Americas Rugby Championship competition, was a success. With four tries each, the teams both did well. The U.S. team, previously sixteen on the roster, did impressively well against the fifth-in-the-world Argentina team. The girls’ rugby team represented by the Bellaire Rugby Club will hopefully do just as well Sunday, February 14, at their tournament in the Woodlands. Go Cards!

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