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Rugby In The Village 


It started out as a friendly game of rugby with the school kids in the local village, 6 of us kaivalangi vs 6 school kids for a quick game of touch rugby, our pitch was the local field meaning we had to contend with grass; concrete; sand; rocks and of course animal waste.

It started out fine with the kids putting up a brave front but obviously no match for our longer arms and legs. The score was roughly even and we had gathered quite a crowd but we were starting to tire while the kids kept getting faster. That’s when they called in reinforcements, next thing we knew we were facing 20 of the locals and all pretense of touch rugby had dissolved into full contact. We gamely struggled on, often able to score by bulldozing through the kids with them falling off us every step. The kids went flying left right and center, we felt bad for some of the tackles but they always got up smiling and just came at us harder.

Now it was our turn to feel the force of Fiji, they must be feeding them different as we all got taken down several times in the ensuing minutes of mauls, rushes and desperate defense. The writing was on the wall however, we couldn’t be everywhere and were soon overwhelmed by superior numbers. We managed to recruit a few kids of our own and soon managed to pull the score back to even footing. By this point most of the village had shown up and a festive mood was in the air, with sunset approaching we agreed the next score would win. The lines were set, the kickoff sent across, we tried to hold them back but the littlest ones kept squeezing through before passing to the large kids for the rush.

A valiant defense on our try line led to a turn over and we were off, using our great reach and stride to keep just ahead of the mob of children chasing us down, we just managed to sneak over their try line before being brought down by weight of numbers. We had done enough though and this first game was a win for the visitors. Much fun was had by all and promises of a rematch coming soon. We retired after a quick dunk under the town tap for kava in the chief’s house, amid promises of the older guys getting involved in our next match….

Bring on round 2

By Laurence Pidgeon - Dive Officer

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