It was 9 am on a freezing Thursday morning in Boston. Despite the frosty conditions, I was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt. Despite the early hour, I was sculling a can of high quality Bud Light. I was holding a song sheet containing such erudite classics as “Saturday’s a rugby day” (believe me, you don’t want to know what Monday to Friday are) and “Yogi’s got a small ****, ya da.” I felt good – it was time for the HBS rugby tour to Miami to begin…
With only five weeks to go until the Holy Grail – the Rugby MBA World Cup at Duke – this weekend was the perfect opportunity to refine our rugby skills and bring the team together over a cheeky beverage or two. This was also the first test of our new expansive style of rugby, which required muscular juggernauts like Gerts and Vani to hurtle around the pitch like gazelles on speed. It was ambitious and exciting, but no one was quite sure if it would work.
The experiment was at least partially successful. Although we went down to a very strong Fort Lauderdale side by rather more points than I care to remember, there were many positives to our game. Luke Herbert (NE) showed that being incredibly short is no impediment to being a decent rugby player. Klug (NE) showed that wrestling is a perfect feeder sport for rugby. Vani was ubiquitous – making numerous big hits on the opposition.
Oli ‘the Welsh Stallion’ Thomas (NA), looked sharp and dangerous and purred through gaps. Shep dominated the front of the lineout, and Gerts went on several marauding runs, knocking the opposition over like bowling pins.
Sadly though, on the day it wasn’t enough. Everyone left the pitch knowing that we will have to play a lot better to bring home the silverware from Duke.
The good news is that we won the battle off the pitch. By 9 pm on the evening of the match, an entire sports bar was entranced by Charles Macdonald’s (OD) unabashed singing of his medley of rugby classics.
Miami has never seen anything like it. After that, we hit the town to test the power of the HBS rugby shirt on the fine ladies of Miami… As every discerning rugger knows, ‘what goes on tour stays on tour’ but, suffice to say, the experiment met with mixed success! A directly proportional relationship between the effectiveness of the H-Bomb and the distance from Boston was established. (I always did want to go to Australia).
On Saturday, we completed the rugby portion of the tour by playing a spot of beach rugby to further hone our skills. The blazing heat and the effect of a couple of beverages did little to improve our handling, however.
Soon, the sight (not to mention the glare) of our Boston-honed white bodies began to scare the locals, and we decided to retreat quickly back to the hotel before we were arrested.
Overall, a fantastic weekend in the sun- many thanks from everyone on tour to Shep, Gerts, Moke & EBITDA for organizing. Bring on Duke!