by Michael Davies
edited by Adam Stahl
The Franklin Pierce University women’s rugby team participated in the eleventh-annual Balls to the Walls Indoor Seven’s Tournament in the Grantham Indoor Arena at Colby-Sawyer College.
The eight team tournament brings hundreds of rugby players together for the one day event. The format of the game was different than any of the FPU players had ever played before because there was only seven players on the field for each team. There are usually fifteen players on the field during normal outdoor rugby games. Among many other rule changes, the games were only 14 minutes long, which is 70 minutes less than a normal rugby match.
The team won their first two games of the tournament in dominating fashion by never trailing their opponent. After winning the first game against Vermont Law by one try, the team’s adrenaline carried them through the second game where they shut out Lyndon State College. Their two match win streak came to an end during the third game when they lost to the Falcons, the eventual winner of the tournament. The women’s rugby team came in fourth place and second in their bracket ending the tournament with two wins and one loss.
Kelly Driscoll, Raven team member, was surprised the team played as well as they did. “It was a great opportunity to play in the tournament,” she said. “It was especially nice receiving an e-mail from the winning team’s head coach. He saw our future in the Division III national championship game and was impressed that we had never played a seven’s tournament before.”
Some players including Laura Kotusky were less favorable towards the experience. “I do not know if I would do the tournament again because I like playing fifteens better than sevens,” said Kotusky.
Brittany Wheeler, women’s rugby match secretary and player, thought the tournament was a huge success for the team. “We got to broaden our horizons and play a different style of rugby. For the rugby executive board, we were able to network with other teams and get our name out there and in doing so we’re hoping to bring a seven’s tournament to Franklin Pierce,” said Wheeler.
The team will be opening their regular season home at Franklin Pierce University on April 3rd.