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Ruckin’ It Up!

CTV staff writer Lauren Hollin's adventure into rugby.

Sophomore+Winger+Lauren+Hollin+sprints+after+HEB+player+trying+to+strip+the+ball.
Sophomore Winger Lauren Hollin sprints after HEB player trying to strip the ball.

Sophomore Winger Lauren Hollin sprints after HEB player trying to strip the ball.

Sophomore Winger Lauren Hollin sprints after HEB player trying to strip the ball.

Lauren Hollin, Staff Writer

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One of my favorite quotes is.. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. This is something I’ve never really struggled with. I tend to be fearless when trying new things (or as my mom puts it, I don’t think with my head). So when my friend told me about the rugby team, I had to join.

Most people think rugby is a dangerous sport, but after I trying it out, I would beg to differ. When people found out I was going to play, they were shocked. My mom and dad both looked at me and said “Rugby… Are you sure?” while my grandparents told me they were praying for me.

Feb. 13 was my first practice, and when I saw the routine of it, I felt a tug of nervousness. There were balls flying backward and sideways. When I first caught the ball I took note that the ball is bigger than the average football, but lighter. It was smooth and could easily glide through the air into the hands of your teammates. The worst part of my experience was the tackle, turf burn is not a fun part of the game, it feels like sliding across nails.

Rugby is definitely nothing like football, despite what most people told me. Eventually, I got the routine down and began to find a new passion. The ball is bigger than the average football, but lighter.  I knew after that practice, I officially wanted to join the team.

Although all the terms of Rugby are British slang, the basics are not hard to understand. Here are a few of the most important things I’ve learned: You can’t throw the ball forward or it becomes the other team’s ball. You can only tackle from the waist down, or they will call a high tackle.  The first time, they give you a warning, but if you do it again, you get sent to the sin bin. Another interesting fun fact I learned is if you get injured while playing a game, the National Rugby Association will cover the injury.

My first game was February 19th, which was a tournament in San Antonio. I will never forget the size of the first team, we went up against; it was like David and Goliath. My coach put me as a winger, meaning I had to prepare to defend against their fastest player, and when offense came wingers have to be ready to get the ball and try to score a goal, or in rugby terms a tri.

Well, when I got the ball and ran, I came face to face with the ground, with two girls on top of me. I ended up getting the bruise the size of the United States on my upper leg. But after my first tackle, I did not fear the game anymore. I played with a blazing intensity for my new found sport. And we won!

My first game was rough as I was still learning the rules and getting a feel for the game. After a couple of more tournaments, and practices I got the hang of it. In our most recent tournament, I striped the ball form the other player and ran down and scored my first try.

I am glad I decided to give rugby a shot, instead of letting other people’s opinion about it stop me. If I had stayed in my own little box, I would not have found a love for this sport. I encourage people to step out of their comfort zone, and discover new things. You will never know if you truly like something unless you give it a shot.

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