Feb 25, 2018

Jayhawks beat Washington University 72-5 in cold, rainy Merit Table game

After match, both teams lined up and cheered the hardy crowd that stayed to watch in the marginal weather.

The original game-plan was for the Jayhawks to play Wash U on their artificial turf field and then motor over to nearby Forest Park to face Sunday Morning RFC. However that 2nd game was scratched because of the potential damage that match would have caused to the pitch.

The “story” here has 3 elements: What, Who, and How.

It took COMMITTMENT and TOUGHNESS to get out of bed at 5:00 AM on a rainy day, when its 2 degrees above freezing, to board a van before sunrise, drive 300 miles in the rain, and knowing that at the end of the ride you would have to gear up and play a pair of matches in the same foul weather. – Maybe nothing else written about the Jayhawks this whole season will trump that “act of will” for you as individual players and collectively as a team.

It was 2 sides of players that did that. – All of you may question your commitment to come to practice and make trips like this. Trust me; you would be missed if not there. The players on a rugby club are like bricks in a wall. Without any of you; the wall is not as tall and strong. Everyone can be replaced, but WITH you, the whole team top to bottom is stronger. The practices are better. There is competition for spots. The coach can deploy optional line-ups to account for the opposition and field conditions. Having numbers means a deep team and builds for continuity into the coming seasons. – There is a reason that good rugby clubs around the globe have multiple sides. You all will share the accolades of what gets accomplished. It’s not one person and it’s not a “first 15” (whatever that means). Being on a rugby club is a binary thing. - Are you on the rugby club? (Y/N) - The Jayhawks can and will accomplish great things if they have big numbers. – Great job on this road trip!

I brought a couple of old 1970’s ruggers with me to this match. One was the hooker I faced from K-State for 3 years while I was a Jayhawk and who later played for the KC Blues. The other was a starting offensive lineman for Missouri, who took up rugby in Memphis after graduating and was selected as an All Star prop for the Eastern RFU, back when there were just 4, huge, territorial unions. – Both of these guys were hard-nosed front row players. – They noted the items outlined above (2 sides, travel 300 miles, to play a match in very cold & wet conditions). They were impressed on how the Jayhawks played. They asked how the Jayhawks can do this. Do they have scholarships? – I said “No... It’s just a very good rugby club, top to bottom. It’s why I invited you.”

The Jayhawks play Missouri in a Merit Table match next Saturday March 3 in Lawrence at 1:00.

Westwick Rugby Complex, E 1094 Road, Lawrence, KS, United States 66047
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