Opinion: Rugby is intense

Millersville Rugby was defeated by York College in the Division II Semifinals on November 4. Photo courtesy of Taylor Schuebel.

Taylor Schuebel
Staff Writer

The first I have ever heard of rugby was when I was watching a rerun of “Friends”. Apparently, Ross was playing a game of rugby to impress his British girlfriend. While he was playing, he looked beaten up. He went on to say that he was having fun. At the moment his girlfriend walked away, Ross nearly passed out and asked for an ambulance.

I thought it was just an exaggeration to get some laughs for the show. After witnessing a rugby match in person, I see now that there was no exaggeration.

When watching the Millersville rugby match on Sept. 19, the only word that came to my mind was intense.

Seriously, I had no idea what was going on in the game itself. I couldn’t even tell who won, but the amount of ferocity the players had was extreme.  

It was like watching a very complex football game that featured more players tossed into the air and onto the ground with no padding.

I debated on googling how to play rugby. However, Jeffrey Schuebel, one of the rugby players, told me not to bother.

He told me that it’s too confusing to understand. However, it would be better to just watch or play the game and figuring it out as you go.

From what I could figure out rugby is basically a keep away game of soccer and football with minimal protection and having a ‘by any means necessary’ defense.

I was curious to know what a player thought of this intense game that he participated in. I asked one of the players his opinion of the game, why he liked it, what it’s like to play and how does it feel before and after every match.

“It’s confusing and physically demanding,” the player responded. “It’s very fast moving but a lot of fun. In order to play, the players must trust one another and be one unit, not 15 players. Before every game, I feel excited and nervous but pumped. Afterwards, I feel dead,”

Personally, I am not a big fan of just watching sports since I prefer to play. After watching the stirring match with family, I became very interested and actually began cheering for our school’s team.

I felt a little bad for the players getting so beat up to the point that some of them probably had to go to Health Services the following Monday, but I suppose the phrase, ‘no pain, no gain’ is the literal meaning of rugby.

The only thing that kind of bummed me out about the match was that there were more Pittsburgh fans on the bleachers than Millersville fans. The Pittsburgh fans even brought snacks like soft pretzels, cupcakes, and even tomato pie!

I found it pretty funny that even at a brutal game like rugby, the opposing team’s fans were nice and offered me a pretzel. So if you’re one who loves sports and complicated plays definitely come see the next rugby match.