Friday, 8 May 2009

Nice touch!

So instead of getting bored and just doing more pavement pounding while doing some sprint training and on the back of The Red Buckets recent ramblings, I went to my first Touch Rugby session last night. I signed up as an individual player for £35 for the season (8 weeks). This meant they would put me in a group with a load of other people who had no-one to go with and we would then form a 'team'. At this moment in time, I use that term very lightly! There were 11 of us in a mixed team consisting of 8 males and 3 females. 6 people on at a time and rolling subs.

Things to consider at this point:
- I've never played before and haven't even picked up a rugby ball since I was 11-12 years old. (Even then only to put it down again when the big boys ran at me)

- Only one other person on my 'team' hadn't played before
- 80% of the people there were Antipodeans who'd been playing this forever as they actually want to play sport in the southern hemisphere and from a young age
- I knew it would be tough but was confident that all the running would help at least in some small part. IT DIDN'T!!!

We play one game a week (15 mins each half) and during that time, when you're on the pitch, it's all about the sprinting! Every time you tackle (touch) an opposition player, you have to get back 10m. And bloody quickly or the ref calls you offside. It's tiring hence the rolling subs but good fun. Our 'team' let them in for a few tries and I think it was something like 3 or 4-0 at half time. Second half we came out slightly more organised after some of the finer rules had once again been battered into our head. In fact we scored a try. Bonus!! They scored a few more (I'd lost count) and then I came back onto the pitch for another go. I reckon I had about 5 minutes left and intended to sprint my heart out. I did exactly that as we held our ground in defence and had the odd attack thrown in. Being around the centre of the pitch, the ball came to me on about the 4th touch during on of our attacks. With team mates (notice the lack of irony marks) running towards the wings there was suddenly a gap.

This was it. No Guts No Glory! Time was running out. We had no chance of winning but it was all about pride now.

I went for it, putting in a short burst of space I split 2 players, being in our own half I had a long way to go but this was it... I squeezed through without being touched and it was me being very quickly pursued by a guy from the opposition team. I just had to get to the line and the glory was mine. My lungs were on fire, my teammates weren't around. It was a straight race now! He was behind and close but not catching. I could see the headlines being written, the name in the Hall of Fame, the cheers and celebrations of my teammates. Only around 15m to go so I'll just need one last look behind.

Oh Cock it!!!

I'd tripped myself up when I'd turned and was now eating dirt still around 12m from the line due to a 3m slide and the chance had gone.

As you can see, the slide caused some cool grazes that I haven't had since I was a kid but to be honest my pride had taken the bigger battering. Even more so when my pursuer came up to me after the game, shook my hand and said 'unlucky on the trip mate, you had me as well'.

So in a nutshell, a LOT of fun, extremely tiring, I have new aches that I've never had before and can't wait to go back. Unfortunately due to prior commitments it will be in 2 weeks time and not next week but I'll be there with my number 9 shirt and my restored pride. However, this time, I'm not going to look back!


  1. Brilliant. That actually sounds like Hell on Earth but I bet it'll get you fitter than you imagined possible. And injuries (proper ones that you can see) are always a nice talking point. So it would appear that I am probably going to be watching you (again) leave me behind early on in the BUPA 10k then...

  2. Well I'll be aiming for my standard (and the time I just cannot beat) of between 52 and 53 mins. With your injury, maybe it'll be best if you hobble round with our mutual friend and his dogdy hip!

  3. Nice one dude. Touch is great fun isn't it (I hadn't played 'normal rugby' either since my teens).

    I can reckomend playing in astroturf trainers. I played in normal ones last time and was all over the place.


  4. Well thank you again for the suggestion TRB! And I think you're right on the astroturf trainers option. There were a few slips and almost pulled muscles yesterday so I certainly need more grip