Let’s toughen it up for RUGBY 101! :D

If you can sum up the words FUN and TOUGH in just one, it’ll be RUGBY!!! =)

Yes my friends, you might be surprised to hear a girl trying to play the sport Rugby. I may be a girl but I’m not a softie like everyone else so when I heard that the Philippine Rugby Football Union is offering a Rugby 101 course for free, I grabbed the opportunity with no questions asked! 😀

My mom was diagnosed with a heart problem last May 2009 and that served as a wake up call for me to start living healthy. So I ditched rice, sweets, fatty foods, & junk food and started my quest towards healthy lifestyle. I went on looking for a sport to do and decided to run. Then I decided to take it up a notch and got myself drafted to my hometown’s local football team, Pasig United F.C., been playing for them 2 months now & was lucky enough to see some footy action on a recently held Football Tournament, Laurel Cup 2011.  Trying to move around as much as I can before I turn 30, the once-a-week soccer training was not enough to quench my thirst for crunch time on the pitch. I wanted more. I want to just go out there in the field and play so I went on looking for another sport and stumbled upon Rugby.

So, together with some of my mates from Pasig United F.C. Women’s, we booked ourselves for our first training sesh last July 06, 2011. Before training, I tried to learn as much as I can about Rugby, the positions, the rules of the game, the Haka (All Blacks for the win!), and everything about it but no one prepared us for that one tough night last July 06!  Our first Rugby training sesh was facilitated by Sir Jovic & Sir Gabe. The warm up was okay but then we went into doin’ the drills and it was INTENSE! At first I thought that Rugby, bein’ classified under football too was just the same with soccer only this time you’re playing with your hands. But I had it all wrong, man, all wrong! Rugby is the exact opposite of soccer! You have everything backwards. And doin’ all the foot drills, I was running around the pitch like a headless chicken, trying to concentrate not to hit the other players and at the same time do what the coaches was tellin’ me to do. Like in Soccer, running is essential so running and foot drills tops the list when training for Rugby. I enjoyed all the foot drills but it was tough. I was forced to run 200% more than my usual run in soccer. I play defense full back for soccer so most of the time I’m just hovering around near the goal post covering the goalie, not running much on the field. I could just wait for the forwards to come to me with the ball on their feet & will just have to clear the ball given the opportunity. But in Rugby, you’re always on your toes as all of the players in the team gets to have a chance to score — oh and if Soccer calls the points as goals, in Rugby, they call it a “try,” just want to share that little info with you guys. After the foot & running drills, we went to passing. Its tough too but I’d say its a great core & upper body work out coz I had to use all my core & arm muscles to catch & throw the ball properly. The biggest difference perhaps with soccer and Rugby is that the latter is a full contact sport, expect to get bumped or bruised when playing Rugby. You have to go touch opponents and try to stop them from scoring a try.

You can tell that the coaches were dead serious with the training, even with newbies and that was something I really admire (thumbs up to that!). For every bad call that we make because we didn’t pay attention or listened to the coaches equates to 1 set of 10 man push ups! But that I think is essential so that players will have discipline and will always listen to what the coach is saying. Then everything commenced into a SCRUMMAGE! yep, you got it right! if soccer calls the matches scrimmage, for Rugby its scrummage. We’re divided into two groups composed of 15 people, after brief instruction from the coach, we do head-on collision of a Rugby game! real intense!

The second training sesh was more intense than the first one since t’was Coach Aloh Abono who facilitated the session. He’s one hell of a tough guy, I tell yah! If the first training sesh I was pushed to run more than 200% of what I was used to in Soccer, now I was forced to step it up a notch to 300% as I heard Coach Aloh talking to me & to those left out in the formation: “Ayaw nyo bilisan?! Sige dadagdagan ko pa yan!” It was crazy but a good crazy coz all that running paid off. I used to finish a 5k marathon in an hour and 15 minutes but after all those running, I can complete a 5k in 40minutes! :)) and 2nd sesh turned out to be great as we learned how to do the tackle and all those tackle sessions in Rugby toughened me up as a defense for soccer! I can go head-to-head with a guy, not worrying about getting me self thrown out of the pitch. Oh and not to mention that I got my 1st 5 seconds of TV fame in Rugby as the crew of GMA 7 filmed our training for an episode of one of their sunday morning show! Really cool! =)

I’ve been to 4 sessions already and immensely proud that I was able to get out on every training sesh alive and in one piece! But seriously, I love the discipline of Rugby and I totally dig the challenges the sport has to offer. It pushes you to do good, to go out of your comfort zone, makes you constantly push yourself beyond your limits then you feel rewarded every after training, feeling proud that you did all those drills & you were able to play the rough but fun sport of Rugby! =)

oh and after a tough training sesh of Rugby, me & my mates were rewarded with.. dundundahhhh…

we get to meet & have a photo opt with one of the Philippine Volcanoes , Andrew Wolff! He’s so nice and very accomodating and so adorable too! right ladies??? great reward after a hard day’s work on the pitch! 😀

All of us while staring at Andrew Wolff, I mean resting after the intense Rugby training at Ultra! :))

goofing around after training! *on the sides: waiting for an opportunity to talk to you know who.. hehehe*

all tired but still lookin’ pretty after training! woot-woot!

me (in orange shirt & white socks) with the ladies.. i could just lounge here forever then sleep! so tired after training..

man, serious! PUFC girls are tough! to the core! as in!  We were able to finish the intense Rugby training in one piece! haha! proud of you ladies! good job!

On behalf of my team Pasig United F.C., we’d like to thank our Rugby coaches Sir Jovic, Sir Gabe, & Coach Aloh, maraming maraming salamat po for teaching us Rugby! Got to thank you guys for the patience and tons of encouragement while teaching a bunch of “super makukulit” ladies! And big thanks to PRFU for comin’ up with a great program such as this! mabuhay po kayo! =) because of you guys, we’ve got this new found respect for the sports Rugby, yes it is tough but I’d say you’ll come out every training a better person.

till the next training sesh guys! =)