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Rugby one of the University of Oklahoma's oldest sports for women


Charles Martin March 15th, 2007

The University of Oklahoma's women's rugby team, the Oklahoma Roses, insists the full-contact sport is safe and simple.   It's also much like soccer, in that there are few breaks in the game and a lot...

The University of Oklahoma's women's rugby team, the Oklahoma Roses, insists the full-contact sport is safe and simple.
 
It's also much like soccer, in that there are few breaks in the game and a lot of running. Like football, it's all about getting the ball from one end of the field to the other. Unlike football, play doesn't end at the tackle.
 
"In football, when the whistle blows, the play is over, but the beauty of rugby happens at that point," Roses coach Tracy Curtis said. "Then the team starts to strategize without the whistle ever being blown. I like to think of it as strategy in motion."
 
BENEFITS OF PLAY
"You don't get hurt, because you learn how to play the game," said Jolama Cloughley, originally from Belfast, Ireland. "In rugby, the major thing is you're taught to fall, dodge away from injuries. Fitness is a big thing " if you're fit, you won't get injured."
 
A big appeal to rugby, both at home and abroad, is its unique culture.
 
"Rugby is such a social sport. You play the game, everyone is great friends and there is a party afterwards," Cloughley said. "It's a good thing to start in if you go to university because everyone gets together and it's an easy way to make friends."
 
FUTURE HOPES
The team is one of the oldest women's sports on the OU campus, having been founded in 1974. The Roses finished last year ranked second in the West. Curtis' primary goal is to get the team into the top 20 in national rankings, and that rugby will be adopted as a varsity sport at OU. "Charles Martin
 
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