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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Skunks Nationals!

Yes i know its been a week since i journeyed to Sheffield but i have had alot of work to do this week.  

So, it was a dreary day leaving for Sheffield, spitting rain... contrary to the weather we've been having which is amazing!  The bus left at 1:00 sharp which means I had to skip my friday classes to be able make it... uh oh... Don't worry I got the notes from a Jordan.  The ride to Sheffield was about 4 hours long and we arrived around dinner time.  We were staying at a hotel this time and the Uni was paying for it (best part).  We basically bee lined for Wagamamas (i had no idea what they were saying when they referred to it) which is a Japanese type restaurant.  There was a huge shopping center within walking distance from the hotel complete with a smattering of restaurants and that is where Wagamamas was. After dinner the weary traveling sports team went back to the hotel and crashed.

The next day we awoke early and got our mini bus to the fields.  We arrived and there was still a bit of frost on the grass but the temperatures were pleasantly cool.  We started our nationals competition with the Warwick Bears who were seeded first in our pool.  We played really well in the warm weather and bright sunshine and won 13-3.  Next were our rivals Portsmouth whom we handed a 12-8 loss.  Finally we were in the position to win the pool and be exempt from a crossover game if we won out last game of the day.  The challenge was Newcastle Pies (weird name i know) and we beat them in a narrow victory 12-10.  Our offensive flow fell apart towards the end of the last game and we were saved by the soft cap.  But at the end of the day we were at the top of our pool and received a bye for the first round of the brackets.  Who we played the next day depended on the other crossover games which we would not know the result of until later that night.

So after returning to our accommodation mid afternoon we had plenty of time to just chill.  We watched the England vs Ireland rugby game in one of the hotel rooms, in which England got destroyed...  Then it was back to the shopping center for another meal.  After about 15 minutes of trying to decide where to eat, we settled on a handmade burger restaurant.  They had all kinds of delicious burgers (kinda how i picture In A Burger to be some day :)  ) and the waitress was clearly very annoyed to have us rowdy kids during her shift.  (waitresses in the UK get paid regular wages and the english rarely tip)   We were really not that rowdy except when they messed up our milkshake order but overall we were quite charming and there was no reason for her to be pissy...  anyways... we went back to our humble abode and crashed very early.  I was sharing a room and bed with my Latvian buddy Kirill and we enjoyed a good episode of friends before going to bed (its a big deal since i rarely watch tv over here).

Sunday of the tournament started earlier than saturday for us.  It was also a bit chillier and windier.  It turns out that we were set to play the team that we beat on Universe Point at regionals, Exeter aka Urial.  Im not sure if it was the nerves or if we did not come to play but their zone demolished us and we lost 3-13.  After that crushing defeat the next task was to stay warm and avoid the spitting rain during our game off.  Our next opponet was the 3rd team to go to nationals from the southwest region, Cardiff aka Frills.  It was a hard fought game on top of a hill with a moderate wind blowing from one end of the field to another.  We came out on top this game after taking it to Universe 11-10.  Our last game for the day was the consolation game for 5th or 6th place.  It was against Warwick again and i think fatigue from our last game had set in, in conjunction with their zone put da bears on top 3-13.  We had a team awards session after the game and MVP trophy, a porcelain sculpture of a mother and child, went to Fry who truly put up a good effort in leading us to victory and MIP (Most Improved Player) went to me.  I was honored that everyone thought that i was most improved, but i still dont know how they know how much i've improved...  only seen me play for one semester...  o well... Thanks guys!

After our final defeat the Southampton Skunks are ranked 6th in the UK.  Quite a good tournament i think.  After taking some team photos and seeing little sanchez after a morrow we boarded the minibus back to the hotel to meet up with the coach bus that would take us back to Southampton.

What a great weekend!

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