In women’s rugby, ‘someone’s always bleeding’

Posted April 24, 2012, at 3:53 p.m.
Portland's Lizzy Anderson gets taped up with a temporary sling after injuring her shoulder in a match against Boston Saturday, April 14, in Portland. &quotWe've got a couple nurses on our team. They think it's either a broken clavicle or collarbone," Anderson said. &quotIf it still hurts tomorrow I'll go get it checked out [at a hospital]."
Portland's Lizzy Anderson gets taped up with a temporary sling after injuring her shoulder in a match against Boston Saturday, April 14, in Portland. "We've got a couple nurses on our team. They think it's either a broken clavicle or collarbone," Anderson said. "If it still hurts tomorrow I'll go get it checked out [at a hospital]."
The Portland Women's Rugby Club, in orange shirts, and Boston form a scrum as they compete for the ball in a match Saturday, April 14, in Portland.
The Portland Women's Rugby Club, in orange shirts, and Boston form a scrum as they compete for the ball in a match Saturday, April 14, in Portland.
Sarah Gordon (second from left) and teammates on the Portland Women'™s Rugby Club form a scrum during practice prior to a match against Charles River Saturday, April 14, in Portland. In rugby, players bind together before the ball is thrown into the middle of the scrum to begin play.
Sarah Gordon (second from left) and teammates on the Portland Women'™s Rugby Club form a scrum during practice prior to a match against Charles River Saturday, April 14, in Portland. In rugby, players bind together before the ball is thrown into the middle of the scrum to begin play.
Portland's Ally Day of Gorham sprints ahead of Charles River players on her way to score Saturday, April 14, in Portland.
Portland's Ally Day of Gorham sprints ahead of Charles River players on her way to score Saturday, April 14, in Portland.
Portland's Ally Day tries to avoid getting trampled by Charles River players after making a pass Saturday, April 14, in Portland.
Portland's Ally Day tries to avoid getting trampled by Charles River players after making a pass Saturday, April 14, in Portland.
Portland's Abby Vogel (right) wraps up a Boston player during a match Saturday, April 14, in Portland. &quotGirls who crave a contact sport, something physical, are drawn to rugby," team president Brittney Braasch said.
Portland's Abby Vogel (right) wraps up a Boston player during a match Saturday, April 14, in Portland. "Girls who crave a contact sport, something physical, are drawn to rugby," team president Brittney Braasch said.
Portland's Sharon Morrissey, Ashley Potvin, Hannah Santoro and Emily Colesworthy (in orange shirts) battle for the ball in a match against Boston, Saturday, April 14, in Portland.
Portland's Sharon Morrissey, Ashley Potvin, Hannah Santoro and Emily Colesworthy (in orange shirts) battle for the ball in a match against Boston, Saturday, April 14, in Portland.
Portland's Kerry Gross of Camden passes the ball as a Boston tackler tries to bring her down Saturday, April 14, in Portland.
Portland's Kerry Gross of Camden passes the ball as a Boston tackler tries to bring her down Saturday, April 14, in Portland.
Portland's Patty Williams (wearing scrum helmet) leads her teammates in congratulating their Charles River opponents after a match Saturday, April 14, in Portland. &quotWhat happens on the field stays on the field," said team club president Brittney Braasch.
Portland's Patty Williams (wearing scrum helmet) leads her teammates in congratulating their Charles River opponents after a match Saturday, April 14, in Portland. "What happens on the field stays on the field," said team club president Brittney Braasch.
Portland's Patty Williams picks up her seven-month-old son, Patrick, after playng in two rugby matches Saturday, April 14, in Portland. &quotI couldn't imagine a Saturday without rugby," she said.
Portland's Patty Williams picks up her seven-month-old son, Patrick, after playng in two rugby matches Saturday, April 14, in Portland. "I couldn't imagine a Saturday without rugby," she said.

PORTLAND, Maine — Patty Williams held her seven-month-old son Patrick while watching from the sidelines as her teammates competed in a rugby match against Boston. No one would have blamed her if she decided to take the season off. Rugby, after all, is a physically demanding and sometimes brutal sport. But when it was time for substitutions, Williams handed the boy over to his father and charged out onto the field.

“I couldn’t imagine a Saturday without rugby,” she said after the game.

Williams plays for the Portland Women’s Rugby Football Club, a team made up of players ranging in age from 17 to 35. Last Saturday they played two games against teams from Massachusetts.

Rugby is for “girls who crave a contact sport, something physical,” said Brittney Braasch, the team’s president. “Someone’s always bleeding.”

On several occasions the rough play caused tempers to flare between the teams. But at the final whistle the teams lined up to exchange high-fives. Later they shared pizza and beverages.

“What happens on the field, stays on the field,” Braasch said.

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