Imagine spending the weekend engrossed in rugby talk. Thanks to Queen’s alumnus, Dr. David Cook, I enjoyed a rugby-filled weekend. David invited my son Josh and me to join him and his son Alastair for the Queen’s Rugby “Old Boys” golf tournament at Glen Lawrence this past Friday. It was a great day of golf, great company from the dedicated Queen’s rugby crowd, and lots of fun and laughter. Over 100 Queen’s Rugby alumni and friends formed a relatively rowdy crowd, a crowd that did justice the to the finest of rugby traditions. Master of ceremonies, Ron Easteal was in fine form.
The rugby theme continued on Saturday with the Canada-U.S. match at Richardson Field. All was good, with our boys defeating the Americans, in an entertaining match, 28-25. Fortunately for me, my son, who played rugby for McGill and now for a club team called the Toronto Scottish, was able to act as my interpreter for the game. I think I am finally learning the difference between a scrum and a ruck, I understand that a “maul” does not necessarily involve bears, and now know that a “knock-on” has to do with dropping the ball as opposed to a song by Amii Stewart.1 I also understand now why most of the Queen’s Rugby “Old Boy’s” have avoided mid life crises…they are all stuck in adolescence!
Canadian rugby dates back to 1864 when artillerymen played each other in Montreal. “The first international game in North America was on May 5, 1874 between Harvard University and Montreal’s McGill University at Cambridge, Mass also being the 1st Rugby game played in the United States.”3 Queen’s has had a vibrant rugby program since 1881, and now boasts one of the largest university rugby organizations with seven Gaels men’s teams and one Gaels women’s team engaged in inter-university play.4 And the Gaels have been prolific champions. In the last 25 years of OUA competition, the tricolor have been champions twelve times!