Rain – CHECK!
Players ? CHECK!
Flying Ants? WTF, WHY OH GOD WHY?!
So, yet another rugby practice was upon us on Saturday. The regulars; Stanton, Mike, and Opart were ever present. As was an old face we’d not seen for a while; Jonas having just arrived back off holiday. Coach Tom and Coach Dave were there, steadfast in getting the team off the ground as next weekend, 3rd of August, is the beginning of the FIRST EVER LANNA RUGBY TENS LEAGUE!
Along with the regular, we had three new faces joining the ranks of the Lions; Dan, a Saffa, Mikey, a lad from all over the shop, and his mate Oli from good old Blighty. All keen as mustard to get stuck in to the rugby scene here!!
The coaches had a gruelling and physical session planned as it was the ultimate practice before the league. Tackle practice in close quarters at first, before getting stuck into heavy cardio and passing drill. At the time it was throwing it down which was great as it softened the pitch and cooled off the players who dearly needed who were currently being put through their paces.
Into a rucking drill, up and down the pitch, working on getting the first man into the ruck as opposed to hanging out and waiting for a forward to approach. All of a sudden the rain baited, although still thankfully over cast giving us all a nice cool environment to work in. Back to the passing drill, this time with tacklers brought in. . . . “ARGH, WHAT WAS THAT?” coach Tom shouted out.
So as everyone who’s anyone shall know, after a big patch of rain, there tends to be a load of flies within the vicinity, grouping up and being swallowed by the majority of people playing sport in a field. This was a new experience however, as the groups of flies on the pitch were not actually flies, but flying ants . . . FLYING RED ANTS!! As soon as any player ran through the cloud of flying red ants pain was sure to follow. Masses of them landed on all our faces, biting in the most frustrating places, our eyelids! Oh the joy!!! Any how, the show must go on. After having our faces brutally torn apart by these little flying devils we broke for water, a short break, then the positional play began.
Coach Dave and Coach Tom got the team play succinctly, moving the ball well, every player committing to rucks, first there first in, and running into contact.
At the end of practice, most players had to art off. Stanton, Dave, Tom and Dan, the new recruit, happened upon their local drinking hole for a beer after an intense session, pushing the memories of those bloody flying red ants further to the back of the mind. All’s well that ends well.