by Aneesa Valodia (Wits)
We left Wits a little later than planned, thanks to some last minute deadlines that needed meeting, and after a long drive, arrived in Karkloof just in time to catch the view (and a quick throw) at the fields before sunset. The team arrived at Dave’s house in Pietermaritzburg and were greeted by Dave’s wonderful family, the most majestic dogs in the world and an epic spread of delicious food. We went to bed full of chocolate cake and excited for the tournament to begin!
Our first game was against the Salusa Rangers combined team. Still getting into our groove, we lost 15 to 1. We played a thoroughly enjoyable game against Chilli Heat, learning a lot and improving marginally on our first score. We ended up scoring 2 points to Chilli’s 15. We spent the afternoon cooling off at the beautiful Karkloof Falls (courtesy of Bracken’s home turf knowledge) and returned to the fields to watch the Wild Dogs exhibition game. Rubina and Paul (aka Nussbustah) darted around the field, inspiring both new and experienced members of our team.
We tried to channel this energy in our games the next morning. Fellow Vaalies, Ultitude, gave us a good run around and although we lost 15 to 5, we were very happy to have progressed from our more significant losses the previous day. Ultitude was an absolute pleasure to play against. Our second game of the day was against Lion’s River. We were well matched and came from well down to lose by only one point. The final score was 13 – 12 to Lion’s River. After a cute little team outing to Panarotti’s for dinner that evening, we hit the party. Flip cup skills rivalled those on the field and after an epic night, and lit jam session on the bus back to Dave’s, we collapsed into bed.
Monday morning saw a delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs (thanks Auntie Helen!) that provided a cure for those who had indulged a little too much the night before. We found our groove on this day, and kept up amazing spirit throughout both games. UCT Roaring Tigers really pushed us to bring out all the stops. We lost the game 13 – 6 but were inspired by the skill in the UCT side and heartened by the success of our hex formation. The spirit carried over to our second game of the day – a really rewarding experience with some incredible goals and Ds by both sides. The women in Galeforce really gave our women something to look up to and aim for, as their strength carried the team in scoring some great points. The competition was tight, but we won out 13 to 12.
We had a great tournament, with every team member getting onto the score sheet, some newbies scoring their first points and the whole team really committing to make amazing Ds and score great points. Most importantly, we had a great time together as a team – we made wonderful memories and had endless laughs!