When in Prague, Wednesday is a rugby day! After a day of recovery (during which, I unintentionally did bear crawls and hiked over 12 miles with my amazing teammates) everyone was excited for the match later that day. Because the match wasn’t scheduled until 6pm that night, we started the day off with a quick walk through.
The walkthrough was very helpful and everyone left feeling connected and prepared for the intense battle we would face later that night.
Before any battle, warriors must prep their bodies with nutrients and water. Finding a place for 10 people to eat was hard, but we managed to find a place that satisfied everyone’s needs. 8 of us ended up ordering pasta.
After a wonderful meal, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the match. Once everyone was packed and ready, it was quick drive to the pitch. The pitch was in the middle of a motocross track, and it was drizzling slightly. It was a much different atmosphere than our game two days before. Despite the weather, many people showed up to watch the game. Most were Czech fans, but a few Brown fans could be heard cheering in the crowd. Before the whistle blew, we did our pre-game cheer.
The game that followed was one that I will never forget. The match was very physical from the start. Within the first 20 minutes or so, one person on our team had a black eye and many others had scratches and bruises. Everyone was working hard, but the backs were struggling offensively.
The Czech scored two tries in the first half. The second one was a penalty try given for a high tackle (which I highly dispute, given the photo evidence below).
We went into the break disappointed with our first half performance, but determined to do better. In the second half, we took all of our anger, disappointment, and frustration and channeled it into something better. It was a very emotional half that really brought us together as a team. Unfortunately, the game ended 12-17 in favor of the Czechs. If we had an extra 2 minutes, the score would have been different. The game didn’t end the way we wanted, but we learned a lot about ourselves and our teammates on that pitch. We turned a lot of negativity into positivity and fought hard until the final minute.
Daisy was later named player of the match. The Czechs treated us to good food and gave us pins as gifts.
We ended the night with a second dinner at a Mexican restaurant near the hotel. Today didn’t go the way we wanted, but I’m very proud of what this team was able to accomplish in the second half. Tomorrow is my last college 15s match and it’s an honor to play with these bold beautiful beasts one last time.