Doing a bit of line-out hoisting in the 10/23/99 match against the Norfolk Blues.
I would like to say that I did an adequate amount of running and fitness over the winter to see me off to a good start in Spring - but I didn't. Instead I ate, socialized and enjoyed sitting by the fire in the evenings. Did family stuff, in other words. I also caught bronchitis. (Also a family activity by way of the petri dish that is the public school system.) It snowed, too, which screwed up my jogging path for awhile - well, long enough to provide excuses, anyway. So the first sessions of practice are going to be tough - but at least I'll know what to expect.
It's been quite a break as far as rugby media is concerned: I gained some rugby Internet notice and a tee shirt over the break by winning an essay contest: click here to see what I'm talking about.
Buzz McClain - a Suburbs Old Boy who writes - did an article about me that was published in Rugby. (Click here to read it.)
But the best thing by far was winning Western Suburbs' "Best B-Side Forward of 1999" award at the Winter Banquet; I am truly proud of this achievement. It's right up there with graduating from boot camp in the Marines and the electrical engineering program at BYU as far as I'm concerned. Would I have predicted this honor two years ago? Certainly not.
…and a new season of rugby begins! I was dreading this first practice for some time because I knew it would be painful. Due to a bout of bronchitis and the long recovery therefrom I haven’t done much running over the winter months, so I am now pretty much out of shape. (Some of my lung capacity is reduced – I can tell from talking and singing.) Anyway, the running we did during practice was as arduous as I thought it would be, but we didn’t do a lot of it. In fact, for first practices this one was somewhat easier – and more fun.
We had a bunch of new guys out; in all, there were 43 people present at the last circle-up, which was really cool. Many of them said they were attracted to the club from the website, which was very cool (as I maintain the website). Anyway, it’s hard for me to think of myself as a rugby veteran, but that's what I am now.
This season’s practice innovation was brought to us via Pete "Irish Rover" Murphy: tackle bags. So instead of slamming into each other in tackling, rucking and mauling drills, we slam into the bags. Much better. I figured holding the bags would be easier than doing the drills with them – wrong. Having a player run at you full bore and absorbing the blow with your body weight is no fun, either. (Even with all my body weight.) I was getting knocked backwards a few feet pretty constantly – there are some enthusiastic tacklers in this club - and that caused a banging on my wrists, where I’m holding the bag. The moral here is that there is no credible refuge from work during rugby practice!
A bunch of us went to P.J.’s for lunch afterwards, which redeemed any of the negative aspects of practice just as the after-match party redeems a loss in the match.
Tuesday evening practice - 2/22/00
The activity for this practice by the time we finished our initial stretching exercises without generators or lights was obvious: Harpold's Fitness Salon. And we had a long old session of it, too. I was struggling (chest cold and general cake-buttedness), but hung in there. Then we put on sneakers and did passing exercises on the pavement behind the school, which sucked because of all the sand thrown about after the least little snow by Fairfax County. Very slippery. But... we had 45 people present, which is a new attendance record for a practice session that I have seen!
Thursday evening practice - 2/24/00
An odd sort of practice. At first we started out without lights, which meant running drills. Then the generators showed up - but wouldn't run. Dave Lyster figured out that a gas valve was closed. So then we had lights and did all sorts of interesting forward drills with the new RoverPads. (May his tribe increase and blessed be his name for obtaining them.) We also did some live scrummaging, which is always interesting. The mechanics of 16 men pushing and lifting with all their might makes for some interesting situations and bruises; my left shoulder is entirely red. Hooker Mark Hrycay - Mr. Fitness and Aggression - came up with a clever little refinement: after engaging and getting the ball out we "sprint" (the quotation marks describe my blinding speed) around the goal posts and reengage. After a few sessions of this things got really sloppy and the less mobile members of the tight five - everyone but Mark - began dragging. We had 45 guys out tonight, which is awesome! Afterwards, P.J.'s for Cokes.
Saturday - 2/26/00
We had practice this morning, but I didn't attend. Instead I had lunch with two reenacting pards. Stopped off at the Border's bookstore and bought the March issue of Rugby World, which had this. Haven't gotten the kit yet, though…
Tuesday evening practice - 2/29/00 (leap year)
A unique practice session. We did the Harpold Fitness Salon with shuttle runs added in (drop, do two sit ups, sprint over to Harpy, do two, and repeat), and I threw up twice into my mouth while on the run. Stomach acid lends a really interesting taste to a mouthguard. Then, while doing rucking drills, I got a bad case of stomach cramps and had to drive over to the 7-11 to use the restroom. (Like to died.) Something I ate mixed with practice must have disagreed with me. But, being the tough guy I am, I drove back to finish off practice. So while hoisting a new guy in lineout practice he bent his legs backwards on the way upwards and kicked me right in the... well, you know where. It was a special evening with the boys in Western Suburbs, that's for sure.
Thursday evening practice - 3/2/00
We started out with the fitness salon and progressed to various ball-handling drills, including one a player told me he once did during a fluke practice with NOVA. It gave me a newfound respect for the organization backs must do to prepare to receive and run with the ball.
The evening was chilly and windy; kind of wild, actually. Every now and then a gust would throw leaves over the goals posts into the lights. It was a good, invigorating practice. When we circled up at the end I felt strangely young and exuberant, and there was no place else I wanted to be and with no other company than with my brother ruggers in Suburbs. Most of all, I felt alive. You wouldn't think that the simple matter of running and tossing a ball around for a hour and a half would account for this, but so it does. This is something I never would have believed before. The people who are skipping practice are the ones missing out.
Tom gave me a check for the IRS fee to make Suburbs a 501(c)(3). Here goes - I'll finish up the paperwork and send it in next week. Time for me to make good on what I've been telling people I would do. I've never incorporated and created a tax-exempt status for anything before... I hope this turns out okay.
Tuesday evening practice - 3/7/00
We had a Lysterless practice tonight, which meant we did a lot of running. An hour and fifteen minutes of runs and sprints, to be accurate. That's okay - I need it.
Thursday evening practice - 3/9/00
A fine evening for practice - warm with occasional cooling breezes. I really like being out on nights like this. As far as practice was concerned, I was hoping for something a little sedate, like line-outs, but we did running drills rucking and mauling into the tackle bags. Practice seemed to finish early… it can't be that I was having fun, could it? I'm going to try taking a Zantac before practice; these days I've been urping up acid during the runs, I don't know why - I didn't have any dinner before practice. Went to P.J.'s afterwards and had a burger. Buzz McLain is fun to talk to, but I need to make a better effort to get to know the newer guys. Getting "spun up" and gaining acceptance in a rugby club isn't easy. Rolled into home just after ten, and got the evil eye from Cari.
Saturday morning practice - 3/11/00
Practice was wild and wooly today. It rained a little, so we had a healthy amount of mud present to add an element of slipperiness to the scrimmage. We all got wet and muddy - so it made for good team photography. (Except that a water drop got on the camera lens.) The newer players played well, too. I don't like rugby in the morning, but I was glad I attended this. Afterwards - social time at P.J.'s.
Tuesday evening practice - 3/14/00
HFS to start, of course, and then some ball handling. And then an extended session with our old friend the scrum sled. In fact, it was grueling. I'm sure we've spent a longer time doing scrum practice, but I don't remember when! Apparently I'm still having a problem with positioning myself correctly in the scrum consistently - either that or Sweets likes to gripe a lot. At one point I asked Harpy to observe and point out to me exactly what I was doing wrong, and he didn't point out anything. Maybe the problem is in setting up… maybe it's in all the shifting that takes place. I do know that after about the tenth scrum we were all getting pretty sloppy, and I was reeling! Another problem is that every prop has a slightly different style. Some position themselves rather high, and some seem to be able to get lower than I can, so it's awkward and frustrating.
Thursday evening practice - 3/16/00
I caught a cold today, and so wasn't really up for practice tonight. I attended anyway, and pretty much confined myself to setting up and taking down the lights and generators. In the rain. Yes, I did get a zap - it reminded me of putting up the outdoor Christmas lights as a child. I set something of a record this evening - we had no less than twelve floodlights illuminating the field! (Let there be light; it's the electrical engineer in me coming out.) Did some muddy ruck and run for about twenty minutes or so, then tore down and socialized at P.J.'s.
TOURNAMENT MATCH AGAINST SOUTH JERSEY - 3/18/00
I played the starting half of the first match against South Jersey, and that was it. There were no less than five other locks who had to get some game time in, so that was okay. Twenty minute halves in rugby is no time at all, and I cannot really remark on what happened other than to say that we lost that match 7-12 at the end. The sad thing was that off of a lineout we got a really good shove in towards Jersey's tryline - only to lose the ball on the wing and see one of their players run 50 meters for a try. Very frustrating. I played okay. It was cold and chilly and wet. Later that evening Cari and I met the others at the party at Ashburn brewery - which was an interesting experience...
Thursday evening practice - 3/23/00
I didn't go to practice on Tuesday because Ethan had a lacrosse game, which was canceled due to soaking rains. As it turned out, the Suburbs practice was canceled as well. Thursday practice: Harpy wasn't present, so Lyster ran us through a series of ball-passing and rucking drills, and we broke off into an a-side, a b-side and even a c-side for this Saturday's matches. (We had 40+ guys at practice tonight!) I'll be playing the b-side match against the Quantico Marines; they'll run us to death, I'm sure. The new captain for Spring was announced - Mark "Radar" Hrycay, last year's a-side forward of the year and an excellent choice. The forwards captain is Tom Loesel, another excellent choice. I'd like to recall who the backs captain was, but I forget. There isn't much I seem to remember about the backs, other than the fact that they seem to get the limelight and get thanked for every little clearing kick they do.
To say that this match was a challenge would be an understatement. It was the most grueling b-side match I have yet played - and, with regulation 40 minute halves - the longest. The Marines played as I expected: they were fit, hard, fast and aggressive. We weren't winning our lineout ball (I don't know why - I was hoisting the second jumper facing him, and couldn't see what was going on), and we were nearly always driven back in the scrums by a very determined, cohesive push on the part of the Marines. Of course, the exhortations for me and my second row partner ("Cutie," an 18 year old!) to "get lower" were issued again and again - but that wasn't the problem. The Marines were just better scrummagers than we were, and used a cadence. Their rucking was ferocious and committed, and they weren't the poor ball handlers as we were led to believe they were. The result was a 7-25 loss. The a-side lost its match against the Washington Irish A thirtysomething to seven, and the Washington Irish B side seemed to beat our C side. The news here, of course, is the fact that we now have a C side! After the Quantico game I told the coaches to start putting me in for halves, as we have a lot of new guys who aren't getting enough play time in. They are the future of the club, not I. As much as I enjoy playing out a full match, I'm worried that the newer players will become resentful and disillusioned, and quit the club. Now that we have a c-side it's almost like we don't know what to do with it!
Still, while my match was a loss I do feel proud for having played it. It was my first regulation length match, so I can now look an a-sider in the face. Also, I held my own on the pitch against Marines - some of whom weren't even born when I mustered out as a sergeant in 1978!
Afterwards we traveled to Old Town (or is it "towne?") Manassas to have the after-match party at a place called "Irish Eyes," which was located in the basement of a church. It seemed sacrilegious to me.
Tuesday evening practice - 3/28/00
It was cold and kind of rainy today, so the pitch was wet and muddy. To be honest, I didn't feel like practicing at all. But after an HFS to warm the blood and some tackling exercises, I got into the spirit of the thing. After all, the number of mud wallows one enjoys in one's life is limited. And I'm sure I will remember Harry Donovan and I scrambling around in sticky Virginia clay after a thrown rugby ball for a long time. All my clothes were brown and wet when I got home, which didn't please the Missus.
Thursday evening practice - 3/30/00
Sort of a kinder and gentler practice for me in that I hurt my left ankle at Tuesday's mud wallow. We did some running, scrumming and lineouts - I took it easy. (Which was pretty much what I was forced to do - the HFS pace was pretty fast, and left many of us in the rear…)
OLD BOYS MATCH AGAINST THE POLTROONS - 4/2/00
We beat our traditional rival 46-10, and I felt I played one of my best matches, doing what a forward should do - possess or help to possess the ball. I played the first 20-minute period, and then the first ten-minute of the last period; we had lots of guys show up, so there were lots of substitutions in the Old Boys style. By the end of the first 20, the score was 21-0, and in the first ten minutes of the last period we scored three tries! Obviously, we pulverized them. It seems I'm playing young boys club rugby for fitness and sociality, and old boys to win.
I discovered a new torture test this weekend: do gardening on Saturday and rugby on Sunday. That way you hurt your hamstrings reaching down to pull weeds and hurt your leg muscles in running and doing scrums. Right now I'd like to temporarily amputate my upper legs and watch TV.
Thursday evening practice - 4/7/00
The Night of Five Coaches. I'm not sure why, but we had two old boys arrive to help in addition to Lyster, Harpold and Codd. Must be that losing streak that has people taking notice. Anyway, it was warm and I found my throat dry all the time; making the transition between winter and spring takes some doing. Also, it being daylight savings time we had more daylight, which was nice. I wanted to fire up one of the generators for aural ambiance, but was shouted down. We did some semi-opposed play (with the exception of Crazy Eddie, who arrived wearing jeans to tackle entirely opposed) to prepare for this Saturday. I'll be playing b-side, which suits me. Also, Lyster took me out of play to substitute in a new guy, which suits me, too. Went to P.J.'s afterwards, and talked to the newer folks. Nice bunch of guys - our future looks good. Now, if only we could start winning some matches…
B-SIDE MATCH AGAINST SOUTH JERSEY - 4/8/00
A really windy day, which played havoc with lineout throws (you could see the wind blow the ball towards the waiting hands of the opposition scrum-half). I only played a 25 minute half, as I (unselfishly) wanted to let newer players get more rugby time in. The South Jersey b-side was 7/15's Suburbs - with many of the Old Boys, who played a typical Old Boys style: punching, elbowing, etc. It was really no fun. We lost 17-7, but scoring that last try was sweet as it was exclusively a forwards affair. Towards the end of our match a sudden cold wind signaled the arrival of a cold front, and it started raining. The c-side match was called due to the sudden cold and downpour. The a-side lost by one point scored in the final seconds of the match - it was very frustrating. We haven't had an a-side win in about a year!
At this match I brought some 25-35 year old Playboy magazines I found in a church widow's things (they belonged to her husband, along with a bottle of cognac!) I sold the Playboys and booze for her for $30 - so it was a memorable day!
Tuesday evening practice - 4/11/00
A different sort of practice. I arrived late due to some club shopping at Matt Godek's in preparation for the Lyneham Lions match this Thursday.
We did some interesting new forward drills that were designed to replace running laps - they certainly tired me out. Mark Hrycay is certainly adding a new element to practice!
We also did some work on form in the scrums for forwards, which I appreciated. All this season - but far less in previous seasons - I have been hearing, "Get your butt down" (in the scrum). I thought it was. And when I asked Harpy to watch, he indicated that the way I have been doing it is okay. So I'm really confused.
So... I tried to do what they (Hrycay and others) suggested, but found it difficult because I couldn't get the soccer shoes I wear to practice to grip. What's more, I worry that I will pull the prop down if I extend my legs too far back. I was told I wouldn't - but then I proceeded to do precisely that during one session at the sled. I weigh more than the prop; I can pull him down if I get too far extended and have to pull down on him too much. So it's very frustrating. I like to scrum, and pride myself on being able to push. Now I'm getting all sorts of complaints, and I'm not sure what good form should feel like.
THURSDAY NIGHT MATCH WITH THE LYNEHAM LIONS RFC - 4/13/00
We played three twenty-minute periods for this one. We weren't really sure if it was going to be business as usual or more of a recreational match; it proved to be a competitive game. Unfortunately the score was business as usual, too - we lost 0-29. Not too unexpected a thing, however; these fellows have been playing rugby since they were little. Even a 20 year old has been playing for 15 years! Still, it was a lot of fun in that it was a night game against a U.K. side, and I probably played one of my better periods. I was running hard for the whole thing. Whatever my deficiencies in running laps at practice aren't obvious during matches. There were enough of us there that we only got 20 minutes of play each. (This club is certainly growing!) The party was a lot of fun, after an odd wait for the locals to clear out - we arrived early. Presentations were made, backs were slapped and the whole affair was one of the highlights of my rugby career thus far.
B-AND C-SIDE MATCHES WITH SEVERN RIVER B AND PAX RIVER C - 4/15/00
We brought 35 guys to an away game just north of Annapolis, which was great! That's the good news, the bad news is that the a-siders lost their match, and we b-siders lost 19-34 as well. This is a horrible losing streak; young boys Suburbs hasn't won a match since the b-side match against the Washington Irish on 30 October, and the a-side hasn't won a match since last May's alumni game - yeesh. Anyway, we played 30 minute halves for the b-side game, and I played hard and confidently. The scrums went better than usual - but the first half was mostly watching Severn River score. The second half, which I watched, went better, the side making some great tries and scores. Jimmy Hogendobler, a new lock/prop, did some great kicking for score. We've got a number of promising new players, but it doesn't seem to be helping us win matches so far...
The c-side match against the seven or eight of the Pax River guys who showed up (plus others) was weird, just weird. One of those "industrial rugby" matches you sometimes hear about. There wasn't a lot of professionalism in it, and it seemed to be pretty much of a slug fest. I got banged up and bruised, and all of us spent time in muddy pileups. (It rained.) Harpy started out as ref, but then left the field after the Pax guys got overly chatty. So then we had a Severn guy without a whistle as ref. There's something about hearing guys yell "Whistle!" in place of actually hearing one that stamps an individual character on a game. Forrest White, one of our players, got angry over something and left the match, too. Anyway, this match was two twenties, except the last twenty was more like thirty, or something. We lost track of the time... The big news is that I played prop! Not especially well, not especially badly. My neck hurts. Every prop I've spoken to is right - I really don't have the build for it. Still, it was nice to do something I've always wanted to do. I may do it again. Oh, the score in this chaotic match was 0-0.
Thursday evening practice - 4/20/00
Practice for Tuesday was canceled due to rain, which is good because I was in Pittsburgh on a business trip. So I look less lazy. This evening we broke up into two sides and did forward/back linking exercises out of scrums, kick-offs and line-outs. Probably some of the most worthwhile stuff we did all season! P.J.'s afterwards despite the fact (or due to the fact) that my wife was entertaining her cousins back at the house. 38 people showed up for practice.
B-SIDE MATCH AGAINST NEWPORT NEWS - 4/22/00
The a-siders finally won a game against West Potomac 31-8, and we would have won our b-side match against Newport News if Bill Judge (one of our own filling out their ranks) hadn't made a try. So it was a loss 0-5. But it was a fun game, both sides being pretty much equally matched. As usual, some of our Old Boys played for the opposition - I really hate that. I wish these other teams would travel better! But then, they probably say that about us. The Old Boys pretty much behaved themselves this weekend in that there weren't any fists. Well, not until the c-side match. My match was only two 30-minute halves, but now that we're nearing the end of the season I'm running well in these matches. When the final whistle was blown I was nowhere near tired... towards the end I was in a pileup with some of the pack on my left ankle, however, and that kind of slowed me down. I got to do the Old Boys "Ole Ole" move (in a ruck, pulling an opposition player past so that he becomes offsides) with Pat Herrity, which was kind of fun. He made some resentful remark, heh heh.
After the match we retired to the Irish Eyes "pub", home of the slowest food delivery and trashiest-looking banquet room in existence. I swear the room looks like an attic. Anyway, one of our props organized a display of ten buttocks spelling out "Hi Sheila!" (the lady in question being the owner's wife, I think). In the basement of a church. On Easter weekend. If there were any doubts about Western Suburbs being a class act, this dispelled them.
Tuesday evening practice - 4/25/00
It rained all day, so the pitch was muddy. I went expecting to do nothing but laps, but Lyster had us doing various passing exercises. He also had us trying a different line-out jumping/hoisting technique that we had some difficulty with. It was rather hard for me because I was getting my fingers bent and sore trying to help boost while the jumper was on the way up. It was rather like a ballet leap. You can imagine how well ruggers accomplished ballet leaps. (And Cutie weighs considerably more than your average prima ballerina.) Anyway, we did an old style vs. new style test to see who was getting higher, and it appeared that the old style worked better. So much for innovation. Under twenty of us stalwarts showed up, which wasn't a surprise given the field condition.
B-SIDE AND C-SIDE MATCHES AGAINST WESTERN SUBURBS (ALUMNI MATCH) - 4/29/00
I was going to start out in the Old Boys "a-side," but one fellow had to leave early so Art put him in first; I played the Young Boys-Old Boys b-side match. There were three matches, a, b and c - each one two twenty minute periods. The Old Boys won all three, which should ring some alarm bells with management (it does with me). The b-side match was okay. It was a warmish day, and I played a mediocre game; I'm never really ready for the first warm day of spring in either reenacting or rugby.
This pretty much ends the season for me. I won't be taking part in the Baltimore tournament because it conflicts with our 10th annual "Fathers and Sons" church campout, and I don't have much interest in the Olde Gaelic tournament, which sounds more or less like a excuse to drink beer. (With a long drive to get there and back thrown in.) And, truth to tell, I've pretty much used up my tokens - there's a lot to do at home. What's more, my ankles are sore, my legs are sore and I'm just not looking forward to playing as much as I did earlier this season. So, I'll attend a practice session or two during the week to keep fit, but that's about it.
Thursday evening practice - 5/11/00
No, I haven't been to practice in awhile! My son's lacrosse games, pollen-induced chest colds, the 24 hour flu, heat and sheer laziness have been the causes. Last night I was sick with something or another - temperature, the chills, etc. - so I came to practice dressed not to play and watched Suburbs do some ruck and run and finally soccer (with a rugby ball). It looked gay. Afterwards, P.J.'s, which is why I really came. I'm pretty much out of rugby mode now; I find myself becoming preoccupied with home improvement stuff.
Tuesday evening practice - 5/16/00
My last practice of the season was tonight; Julie has a chorus recital on Thursday so I cannot make it then. Drat!
We did an extended ruck and run tonight, very dusty. I played loosehead prop, which was cool. For some reason my chest hurt and I had coughing and sneezing fits afterwards. Either because of lack of practice or pollen, I suppose. Anyway, there were some lacrosse-playing girls on our pitch, and whenever the ball would go towards them they'd all scream - which I found hilarious.
It was good to see new old faces: Gene Perez, Sean Page (from my first season) and our resident Frenchman Fred Bardot were present - others will come given that we're starting summer 7's. Tonight we kinda sorta prepared for the Olde Gaelic tournament, but as I understand this event the real way people prepare for it is by drinking heavily.
Team Meeting, Tuesday - 5/23/00
The end of season meeting to discuss what went right, what went wrong, how to improve, what's coming up in summer and fall season, etc. Since I'm the secretary I get to write up the minutes. That is, I don't have to - I like to. Maybe that shows. Hopefully, my enthusiam for rugby and writing about rugby appears in this journal and in the stuff I do for the club. Anyway, we got started at 7:20, and I left around 8:45. We had it at P.J. Skidoo's, our Thursday night after-practice watering hole.
So another season ends. I had fun, and continued to build skills and confidence... and yet... there is a feeling nagging at me that I am just as much of a mediocrity in rugby as I am in most other things I try my hand at. I suppose the fact that I didn't score any tries this season partially accounts for that feeling. But I tell myself that as a lock it's not really my job, that my primary mission is to help retain possession. But still, I feel like I was easy on myself, that I really didn't try hard enough and that somehow I let myself down. I suppose there is only so much a fellow my age can realistically do, but that sounds like a cop-out. Anyway, I'm a little glum about my performance for reasons I can't really articulate.
Highlights of the season
The Lyneham Lions match: It was at night, on a lit field, in front of a dramatic sunset that made for good photography, with a memorable party that went on to the wee hours. I like Brits in general, and playing their game with them was just plain fun. There was a real sense of occasion at this. They want to come back next spring - I hope they do.
Playing prop during the c-side match with Severn River: A desire of mine ever since I got to know about rugby. Contrary to what I wrote elsewhere in this journal - and despite the neck pains the next day - I want to do this again.
The Alumni Game: I took part in two wins against the young boys, which causes some satisfaction and some worry. As an old guy it's always nice to beat young guys. As an officer of the club, I'm concerned that the young guys should be playing better.
The match against Quantico: Semper Fi! Looking forward to the fall rematch.
All those new guys in the club: We're on a roll, and it's nice to know I helped bring it about. 45 guys at practice is great!
Lowlights of the season
Leap Year day practice: Barfing, stomach cramps, diarrhea, getting kicked in the gonads. Yeesh.
No try again this year: I may have to resign myself to the fact that perhaps it isn't meant to be.
The Godek jersey order: It's taking nine weeks. Doing business with him is a frustration I just don't need in my life.
So now it's summertime, when the livin' is easy. Lots of time spent reading books around the pool and eating pizza. Also time to get all those home improvements done that I'm not going to have time for when the fall season begins... You know, Gentle Reader, that this rugby journal is only a little self-indulgent. It's true: for me right now rugby is life. I hope I'll be able to read these later on in my declining years and recognize that I did the most with what I'm capable of, and not squandered my ability to run, scrum, ruck, maul, socialize, help administer and write. Ya gotta use what you have when you have it.
Click here for rugby journal season 5.