On a breezy and cool April afternoon (Saturday the 23rd for those who like specifics), the mighty IE rugby club arrived at Campo de Hortaleza to take part in a triangular rugby tournament. The teams involved were the Madrid Lions, a great ally of IE, and a visiting French team who sported magnificent mullets throughout their games. The IE team was once again supported by some die-hard female members of the club, despite the rain.
The tournament kicked off with the Lions facing IE. Both teams were up for a good afternoon of rugby. These games were shortened slightly to fit in all three games before the Spanish first league final, which was to be played on the same field after the tournament.
IE took a few minutes to shake off some theory on the bond market, before focussing more manfully on the game at hand. This settling in period allowed the Lions to jump into an early lead. The true fighting spirit of the IE team started to bare its teeth, and IE hit back with some tries (that’s points for laypeople) of their own. The second half had both teams going at each other in what can only be described as ‘battlefield pleasantries’. IE had the Lions pinned down, however some ball handling issues prevented a score and the Lions kept their lead to win by one try.
The next game was the Lions versus the French. This game kicked off at a frenetic pace and gave the IE boys a glimpse at the French flair we were to face. It was a hard fought and flowing game of rugby that ended with the French team outscoring the Lions by several tries.
Finally, IE played the French. Some mental preparation was needed for what we knew would be a tough game against a running team. What happened next was a thing of beauty.
The IE team stepped up like a determined monk climbing the stairs to Shangri La. The pace was fierce, the tackles were crunching, the French somehow still had their mullets. IE attacked with gusto and defended like the impenetrable city of Troy. And just like the city of Troy, just one too many tricks slipped through and it was the French who managed to take home the win by one try. It was a close game and a great showing by IE, especially by a group that included members who were just learning how to play the game.
In the true spirit of rugby, the teams gathered in the rain after the game to enjoy a few beers together. It was a great tournament and grand day of rugby. The IE name was carried with pride and the reputation held high.