By Romi Bean
GLENDALE, Colo. (CBS4) – Rugby is hard-hitting, fast-paced sport and it’s not for the weary.
It’s pretty much the sporting equivalent of a demolition derby.
The quintessential element of rugby is the scrum. It’s one of the most intense moments in all sports.
The Glendale Raptors give CBS4 an inside look at what goes down during the scrum.
“It’s three guys up front, three big boys, two tall guys behind, and three guys in the back. The little guy puts the ball in,” said David Williams, Raptors head coach. “The guy in the middle, called the hooker, the number two, he hooks the ball to the back of the scrum, and then we play on from there. So it’s basically a restart of a game.”
A scrum consists of eight players from each team engaging in a battle for possession. It’s all about strength and technique.
For example, a professional rugger weighs approximately 215 pounds – with 16 players participating in a scrum – that’s about 3,500 pounds of force, and most of that pressure lands on the guys in the front row.
“It’s a lot of impact, especially for the front three. We pretty much have five guys behind us pushing us with all their weight, and we’re going against another team of eight players. So it’s a lot of pressure in the middle,” said Lepi Fifita.
The front rowers have the most at stake in a scrum, but it goes beyond physical strength for these warriors. Perhaps that’s why they love it so much.
“It sure is. We refer to it as the mad dog mentality. We’ve got a bit of mongrel in us. I like to get into my opposition and make sure they’re having a hard day,” said Luke White. “And I let them know about it.”
There’s no shortage of tenacity in rugby, but in the end, these guys are all about love. Well, love and winning, of course.
“A lot of us know each other on opposing teams. When things get heated, after the game, we’re still shaking hands, putting our arm around the other team, having a drink and having a laugh about it all,” White said.
“I love the culture and the comraderies. Everywhere I’ve gone, everywhere I’ve played, it’s just the lads who play. It’s awesome,” said Williams. “They’re a great bunch of blokes, and it’s true across the board. That’s what I love about it. And winning. I love winning. And we’re pretty good at it here.”
The Glendale Raptors’ season opener April 21 at 3 p.m. at Infinity Park.
LINK: Glendale Raptors