My trip back to Virginia concluded with a stop off in Richmond to see my old college rugby club The Mothers compete for the Division II State Championship. They were unbeaten going into the Ed Lee Cup and were to go up against a very good James Madison University club who they had beaten earlier in the season.
However, The Mothers lost a couple of key starters in non-rugby injuries during the previous week and lost their main 'line-out' jumper during the Radford semifinals.
The brutual physicality and lightning pace of the action were striking. Both clubs played very, very hard. By the middle of the game, our side had three additional starters go down to injuries. Luckily, they all walked off the field on their own power. The large size of JMU's pack gradually wore down our smaller guys a bit. But through force of will The Mothers stood tall, coming away just a couple of points short. Their season is not over since they will have a good seed in the MARFU (Mid Atlantic Rugby Football Union) championship tournament. If our guys can heal up quickly, I would not bet against them.
Because I was so amped by the effort that I had witnessed and so proud of my old club The Mothers, I was wide awake for the remaining trip back to Raleigh.