Passion, pain, rugby

Eagles beat Kent University 35-5 in second rugby game of the season.

Rugby is one of the most dangerous games to play. There are not many rules about players being physical.

“You can’t hit anybody above the shoulders, so when you tackle you have to be below the waist pretty much,” said Ashton Fordsley, captain of the USI rugby team.

During the rugby game Saturday, a player from Kent State University fell and injured his C6 and C7 disks in his spinal column. The player had to be taken to the hospital.

“This past weekend we had a guy go down, and then the trainer just ran out onto the field and we continued the game, playing,” Fordsley said.

Fordsley has seen his fair share of injuries.

“Last fall, one guy was knocked over and turned his foot around, like he was facing away from me and his toes were pointing right at me,” Fordsley said.

He said most of the injuries are not as serious as they look.

“It just looks more serious than it should just because they’re not protected by all that padding,” Fordsley said.

According to the rules of the game, once a player is hurt, they have to stay on the ground and wait for the play to be over so they don’t hurt more.

“Typically somebody, anybody on the field, will point to a trainer and then point to the field and then the trainer will run out onto the field while the game is still going on,” Fordsley said. “So we can’t stop the game, it’s like soccer, it’ll just keep playing on.”

Rugby is a game that is made up of several different sports.

“It’s basically made up of soccer, football, and a little bit of wrestling, just the tackling techniques, a few others too but yeah, mainly those three,” Fordsely said.

There are a few other rules too.

“You can kick the ball anywhere but you have to pass the ball with your hands backward,” Forseley said.

For it is so dangerous a sport, it seems to be fairly easy to get on the team.

“Just show up,” Fordsely said. “Come to the practices. If you want to be on the team but don’t want to be a player on the team, there are some other positions that you can do that are basically doing paperwork so that the team can travel. All you have to do is pay your dues, which are only $70, then you can be on the team and can travel and get a practice jersey.”

The players ran around the field, darting in their assigned directions, and wrestling each other for the ball. Although it’s one of the toughest sports, the players leave the game with a smile on their face.

The next rugby game will be Sept. 14 at Eastern Kentucky University. The team’s full schedule is on their Instagram: @usirugby.