Sunday, June 11, 2006

Ka Mate!

So this weekend was back to rugby after a few weekends off: one visiting the Wairarapa, another rained out, and last weekend visiting Picton. All were great trips, but I was eager to get back out there. And this weekend was extra special in the world of real rugby, since it was the first international test match of the season: All Blacks versus the Irish.

The good news of my game Saturday was that I was in the starting fifteen, playing number six, or blindside flanker. The bad news of the game was that I didn't play very well. The worst of it came when I fell over into a crowd of guys pushing the ball forward in a group (called a maul). Imagine roughly 10 big guys all pushing like hell, wearing spikes, and barely noticing that you're there as they try to get the advantage. Honest to God, being stuck in that crowd, these guys blocked out the sun. I tried to crawl out, but they kept following me!

Anyway, I wound up looking like a draw by numbers game with all the spike marks on me. Am resolved to go out next week and really kick some butt.

After the game came the ritual meet up at the pub, and we settled in to watch the All Blacks take on the Irish. The game was great--really tight with the Irish leading at half-time, but with the ABs coming back to win in the end.

Possibly the coolest thing was seeing the Haka on live TV. Imagine 50 000 rabid Kiwis bellowing a Maori war chant at the visiting team, led by their most favored players who accompany the chant with really intense, agressive actions. If you've never seen it, check out some video here, or for a more souped up version, here. It's incredibly stirring, projects power, aggression and sheer 'Ahmacummintagitcha' like nothing else. It's certain to leave you with goosebumps.


Speaka said...

Hope you're alright...cleats to the body doesn't sound to fun.

I watched the last half of the All Blacks was a good one.

Margaret said...

Dave, I really like the little videos in the blog....of course I can only do it on Wayne's computer because mine is too slow. I've finally come to see how high speed is the only way.
Love the blog!
Take care, Margaret

wayne said...

Hey David,
good for you on the sports scene - sounds like you earning your "stripes". As for the scene back here the Oilers just now narrowly lost to Carolina in the fourth game of the Stanley Cup. The series is now 3-1 for Carolina. I'm totally depressed - in fact I am considering cracking open that single malt bottle of scotch I bought in anticipation of you dad's visit here in Winnipeg on Wednesday. Actually there is another (possibly final) game that night which we will probably watch - I hope your dad is a hockey fan.
Looking forward to his visit.

Amanda and Kendra said...

hi dave, hope you dont get too badley injured your body wont thank you in years to come, my dad has terrible knee problems now 20 years later from all the football and hockey he played when he was younger.. the videos are really cool i think rugby is a great game.. take care and hope to see you and karla sometime soon.. love amanda

wayne said...

hey David
had a great visit from your dad who met Karla's paternal grandparents and we all enjoyeda festive barbeque. Later we wtached the Oilers saved from the brink of elimination in overtime with a shorthanded goal. It just doesn't get any better. I don't know what the fuss is about soccer when there is Stanley Cup hockey.

Faye said...

good blog Dave. Taylor was on her high school rugby team, and was the smallest on the team. I didn't like that much, and after watching the little videos, I remember why! Don't you love I have a shortcut for it on my desktop.
Goosebumps? ohyeah!...(I got them from looking at the length of the players' shorts!)

Karla said...

Amen -- you should see the cameras' close-ups of the scrums (when all the guys bend over at once)... it's certainly a sight to behold! ;-)