from CMH Girls Rugby Coach John Waliszewski -
Last weekend the girls rugby team took on the challenge of competing against the other best teams from around the U.S.A. It’s always a special mix of style and teams. One of the highlights for the Lady Crusaders was their first-ever match against a mostly Polynesian American girls team from Danville, California.
Four Memorial girls, all under 100lbs, faced off in the CMH front row from left to right: Elli Metz, Myra Dillett, Julie Else, and, and Becky Calhoun, with their teammates in arms behind them.
The Danville Lady Oaks began the match with a “Haka” just prior to kickoff. A traditional form of Polynesian war-dance, it is a a warrior’s challenge, but also a sign of respect and a great honor for an opponent to face up against a Haka.
Danville’s Haka was led by their senor Cpt., #9 Fina Toeta. She squared off against fellow High School All-American Julie Else, in a contrast of styles and strengths.
Of course, in keeping with true rugby tradition, all the girls from both teams fast became friends immediately following one of the best matches ever played by Memorial, and what Dartmouth University women’s coach called “the most exciting game of the tournament.”
Pictures courtesy of Tony Richardson.