Historic battle of sexes recreated in friendly rugby match

Posted by ap507 at Nov 09, 2015 01:35 PM |
Event marked Rugby World Cup final

A friendly match between male and female teams recreated a 50-year-old game of rugby.

The game was played to mark the Rugby World Cup final.

The idea for the game originated from a 1964 match report of the inventive Rag Week stunt

A historic match was recreated by students from the University of Leicester to mark the end of the Rugby World Cup.

Two teams battled it out on Victoria Park at the weekend, but the match held an added significance – it was a recreation of a game played in the same spot in 1964 between a team of girls and a team of boys.

The modern day battle of sexes had slightly different rules, but showed that co-ed sporting participation was still a big part of the University's ethos.

Women's captain and law student, Ofure Ugiagbe, 24, said: “The day went really well. Hopefully it's the starting point of the men's and women's teams working together as a cohesive club in the future; the foundations have been set.”

The game kicked off at 11am on Saturday, with 10 players a side playing touch rugby for four 10 minute quarters.

“We didn't take an official score,” said Ofure. “The boys were winning about halfway through, so we mixed teams up in an effort to again build relations between the clubs.

“It's the first social coming together that I've experienced in my three years with the club.”

The match differed slightly to the game play more than 50 years ago.

Back in 1964, the women's side were given free rule of the field and were not bound by any of the rules of the game.

The advantage led to a female victory, with the match report in the Ripple – the University's magazine – opting for the headline, 'It was the Birds!'.

The original game between the College Hall Kittens and the University Miscellaneous Men ended 12-0, and was organised as part of a Rag Week stunt.

Ofure said: “We had read the original report and obviously were super pleased that the women triumphed.

“Back in 1964 it was done for charity, but unfortunately we didn't put that into action with our match.

“However, as a club, the women's team raise money for charity every year in the run up to varsity, last year doing so for the Laura Centre; a local Leicester charity who provide help and support to bereaved children and parents.”

After the friendly encounter, both sides visited their local pub to watch the All Blacks beat Australia in a thrilling Rugby World Cup final.

The original match report from the Ripple (1964):

Nine teams of 20 women played against nine teams of men on a very cold Wednesday afternoon during Rag Week.

Play was started after a pre-match march from the Pavilion on Vicky Park by College Hall Kittens, who sang a new version of the College Club Rugby Song to spur their team on to victory.

The play, which had no resemblance to anything seen on or off a rugby pitch before, went well.

The men were at a slight disadvantage in having to play the game with the rules, whereas the women were given a free hand allowed to do as they pleased.

The scrums were a bit hectic as there were 12 women in a scrum, with two scrum-halves who were allowed to pick up the ball from anywhere around the base of the scrum.

What the Kittens lacked in skill they made up for in enthusiasm, and finally managed to beat the University Miscellaneous Men's Team 12-0.

About the University of Leicester Women's Rugby Team:

The side, which has been going for about 14 years, competes in BUCS Midlands 1A after gaining promotion two seasons ago.

It has around 40 members and trains twice a week.

The club plays its matches on Wednesday afternoons, as well as the occasional Saturday friendly.

For more information about the team, email Ofure on: ou13@leicester.ac.uk


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