We bused up Friday morning for a trip noteworthy because we had five brand new rookie players (who did great) and one rookie bus driver (who sucked!). We skipped Dick's ("you didn't tell me where the exit was"), we skipped the House of Fun "Tex told me to pull off but I thought he just wanted a cigarette") and we failed to pick up hitchhikers for the first time in Maggot Bus history ("I didn't think those people standing next to the interstate with back packs looking back at us were hitchhiking"). It was noteworthy as well because the bus successfully crossed the border for the first time since '95.
We arrived in Vancouver about 11:00 and checked into our suites (each complete with Jacuzzi tub and separate shower, an 8' conference table and two robes) at the Coast resort. We figured we would hook the rookies, then after they pay dues we'll be sleeping in the pit again at OctoberFest in 10 below weather with the windows stuck open and Jake snoring in his stocking feet.
The NA Challenge Cup premier division is designed to determine the best club side in North America with competitors such as Mariloma, Seattle and the Canadian under-23's. We played in the first division. There were also social, women's, u-18, u-16 and u-14 divisions. The facility on the UBC campus was phenomenal and if it weren't for the rain it would have been a perfect tournament setting. Unfortunately we didn't see any u-14 matches but did see the Canadian under-23's play the Marilomas. Our c-side could beat both of them.
Our first match was against Abbotsford, BC. They repeatedly swung the ball from flyhalf to wing who ran in for trys. Final was approximately 34-0.
In our second match against Douglas we were on defense most of the first half and held off their attacks to go to half time 0-0. They moved the ball wide several times in the second half and scored trys on long runs. Final was 19-0.
That night, the party was at a bar that advertised ALL YOU CAN EAT FREE PIZZA AND CHICKEN WINGS. They changed the grids on us so it took several hours to find the party and the bus was out of beer and Emer would not stop for any despite hymns from above (behind him really) calling for "more beer more beer more beer..." and "IGA IGA IGA IGA..." Anyway, we finally found the party where a few other rugby teams were and had a hot time.
Sunday AM we played the other winless team in the first division, Eastside. Some great running from our rookie center Keith put us inside Eastside's 22 resulting in Butba kicking a penalty goal. Our lead did not last long as Eastside scored on what had to be the play of the tournament: Bishop was a bit out of position so he turned to sprint back to his spot at Fullback. He heard the kick come off of Eastside's foot so he ran looking up and over his shoulder in the air for the ball. It was a hard grubber that passed him about two feet from his knees while he was looking up. He picked up the ball behind the 22 and had plenty of time to kick to touch. He didn't kick to touch. That was ok because he only had one guy to juke and he would have room to run. He didn't juke. The Eastside guy ran up to him, took the ball directly from Mr. Bishop's hands and ran in for a try under the post. To add insult to idiocy, Tex was sin-binned for a "late hit" when trying to prevent the player from touching the ball down (actually it was a pretty good play).
Bus up with Emer behind the wheel. Emer picked up FOUR hitchhikers in about a two-mile stretch. Each was heading east through Canada. We dropped them off when we turned south at the border. Number 1 rode about two miles and number 4 rode about 200 yards before we dropped them. We succeeded and bunching them up by dropping them off at the same place which probably pissed them off pretty good. Emer's theory is we created 4 lifelong friends. My theory is that a fight ensued and one killed the other three.
Across the border (again, pretty smooth) and straight to McDonald's. All of our bus food stops are at McDonald's now because the bus drivers learned that bus drivers eat free at McDonald's. I think that's why Citizen Gabe didn't stop at Dick's because he was holding out for the golden arches and wouldn't shell out $1.07 for a whammy burger. Anyway, we were sick of McD's but Sunday was $.49 cheeseburger day, which was good for everyone but Butba. Butba's sensitive scabby-kneed stomach couldn't handle six cheeseburgers and he puked on the bus, clogging the urinal.
Bus up and Emer yelled, "Who wants to go to the House of Fun?!" "Me! Me!" everyone replied. So we did and we got to go in the back yard and we got our picture taken with Dick and Jane and we saw the inside of the leaning tower and it has faces in it and an electrical section and a plumbing section too! It was fun.
Bus up and Emer yelled "who want to go to DickTators?!" "ME! ME!" everyone enthusiastically replied. And so it was.
KANGAROO COURT SUMMARY - JUDGE TEX SARAFOLIAN PRESIDING (All counts Fukengüilty)
Puking on Bus - Butba
Smoking on Bus - Beaker
Abandonment - Butba
Dereliction of Duty - Citizen Gabe
Rookie in the Pit - Rex and Winnie Mandela
Behavior unbecoming a Maggot (they were throwing punches at each other in a pit brawl) - Rich and Wes - Had to engage in a 5-minute embrace with position changes each minute.
"My Carharts are making me cold." Gordo
"You've been drinking." Border cop to Beaker.
"Duh." Beaker to border cop.
"Has your driver been drinking?" Border cop to Beaker.
"He's some sort of religious fundamentalist freak." Beaker to border cop.
"Very well then." Border cop to Beaker.
"You guys are rude." Woman serving the free pizza and wings.
"I've rolled my last torch. I had a word with God in the Jacuzzi tub this morning and I've rolled my last torch." Emer
Sept. 23: vs. Valley Kangaroos
A-Side: Maggots: 24, Valley: 19
B-Side: Maggots: 12, Valley: 7
Hats off to the only 1st-division club (and one of the clubs anywhere) who will travel 400 miles for a one on one social match and party! Valley played great rugby and won the party.
Sept. 30: vs. Coeur D 'Alene Osprey
Maggots: 68, Osprey: 0
The Osprey met us in Superior where Mr. Bishop teaches social studies and social skills to junior high school students. It gave the kids and some other teachers a chance to see rugby for the first time. The Osprey played a hard match as usual with a pretty young side. Logan, Cousins and Law John filled in the tight five for them. Good feed and singing at the bar there.
October 6: Tubby Thompson Classic, vs. The U of M Jesters
A-Side: Maggots 24 Jesters: 20
B-Side: Maggots 43 Jesters: 0
The U of M played physical, possession rugby in the closest Tubby Thompson match I have seen. The A match was a close, hard-fought match, like rugby should be. The Jesters showed good depth by having a nearly whole new side in the B match, but their inexperience allowed the Maggots to win fairly decisively.
October 13-14: Bozeman Oktoberfest Tourney
Maggots: 57, Helena/Butte/Anaconda: 0
Maggots: 0, Bozeman: 15
Maggots: 34, Jesters/Pocatello: 0