On Saturday afternoon I went to a WashU rugby game on the South Campus fields. It was short walk over to the field, and before long we were cheering the rugby team on as they battled it out against the Principia Thunder-chickens! As the game developed, the girls watching gasped and covered their eyes as the players smashed their heads against the opposing teams’. The boys in the crowd clapped in manly admiration, but also gritted their teeth against the blows. WashU’s favored cheer seemed to be “WashU loves the scrum” or something along those lines. The Scrum is when the two teams line up to resume play. Selected packs from each team stack up and push back against the other team with their heads interlocked to gain possession of the ball. It is difficult to describe – see the photo below.
WashU ended up winning the game by a significant margin which was exciting for the boys as well as for the enthusiastic fans, myself included. What happened next was a big surprise as the team began to chant about a “Zulu warrior”, and before I knew it the two boys who had made a try (a touch-down for lack of a better reference) stripped down and ran a lap around the field! The team clapped in appreciation of the tradition, as the crowd rolled with surprise at first and then laughter. I can’t wait for the next game!
The team huddled during half time to discuss their strategies.