Last weekend saw us knock some more rust off as we took to the road. We also took a few brave rookies with us for their first taste of a rugby road trip. We started the trip with a cold, dark morning and driving through a wicked hailstorm near the Indiana border, but luckily we finally made it to the surprisingly sunny, and of course windy, Chicago. The round robin consisted of two 30-minute halves, the first being against North Shore’s B-side and the second against University of Illinois-Chicago. The first half saw our starting lineup come out nice and strong with dominating scrums and line-outs. The score was 7-0 to us with the try coming from Jenny Ledezma as she quickly scooped up a loose ball as it came out of the ruck. Sara Nagy made the conversion. Although our defensive alignment wasn’t ideal, we were able to compensate in the contact area to prevent them from scoring.
The second half saw us throwing in our reserves and all of our rookies for their first rugby game ever. Although it looked sloppier than the first half, our rookies looked great with their enthusiasm and lack of fear going for the ball. Rookie Jasmine Dennis actually scored her first try by using her wheels on the wing to beat out the defenders. Sara Nagy was also able to break some tackles and take the ball to the try zone to score our second try. Alas, we weren’t able to score more and UIC actually beat us on the outside with some good offloading to score a total of three tries against us. But it was a great learning experience for our rookies and they all enjoyed themselves. Big thanks to North Shore for also hosting the social and feeding us at the Black Rock. We look forward to taking on MSU the next week for our first Big Ten match-up.