The air at Gans Creek Recreation field was electric last Saturday as the Columbia Rugby Football Club’s Men's team, the Columbia Outlaws, along with the Mizzou Rugby Club and KC Northland teams, came together for a thrilling three-team friendly bout. It wasn't just a game; it was a celebration of the sport, the team, and our diverse community.
A Friendly Yet Fierce Start
Assistant Coach Trevor Burge put it perfectly, “It's a friendly match... a good opportunity to get some of our new guys some playing time.” These early matches are crucial for building stamina and acclimatizing to the speed and contact of the game. For the Outlaws, it’s more than just winning; it’s about honing skills, team spirit, and getting ready for the league matches.
Rugby vs. Football: Unveiling the Differences
Rugby, often mistaken as similar to American Football, holds its unique charm. As Coach Burge explains, “the main difference...is the ball can only move backwards.” This fundamental rule of rugby underscores a strategy of teamwork and skillful ball movement, differentiating it from its more widely recognized cousin.
The Diversity of the Team
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Columbia Outlaws is the diversity within our ranks. From bouncers and bartenders to lawyers and professionals, our team is a melting pot of backgrounds, uniting under the shared love for rugby. This diversity is not just our strength but also a testament to the inclusive nature of our program.
Rugby’s Rich History and American Football’s Roots
The history of rugby dates back to the early 1800s. The evolution of rugby into what we now know as American Football in the 1880s, largely thanks to modifications by a Yale University rugby player, is a fascinating journey. Yet, despite the overshadowing popularity of American Football, rugby retains its unique appeal and spirit.
Community Engagement and Growing the Sport
As noted by spectator Alex Anderson-Kahl, “It can be hard to get people out here, but once they come out, they really enjoy it.” This challenge is at the heart of our mission - to raise awareness and foster a rugby-loving community. Our matches are more than competitions; they're vibrant, lively gatherings where the thrill of the sport is palpable.
Our season opener was more than just a series of matches; it was a showcase of the spirit of rugby and the Columbia Outlaws. As we gear up for the upcoming league matches, we're reminded of the importance of community, diversity, and the love of the game that brings us all together.
Join us in our journey this season! Follow us on social media, come to our games, and be part of the growing rugby community in Columbia. Together, we can make this sport known and loved as it deserves to be.