From our prior research on Wikipedia, “In Poland, because rugby union is viewed as a ‘power sport’, flamboyance is not encouraged.” Knowing this we were unsure how our champagne style of rugby would be received, given we had no additional information about the match or team we were scheduled to play.
Entering a mini stadium, we were alarmed to find that the team we were facing, Posnania Rugby, was one of Poland’s top teams.
Our dreams of a casual run about were quickly fading.
Wearing our hand-drawn warm up tops, our 15 strong squad jogged onto the playing field with the pitch side ambulance and medical team contributing to the unsettled stomachs from the previous night’s £1 pint brewery tour.
When approaching their 6’4 bear of captain, distinguishable as the only member of their team without a grade one buzzcut, we soon discussed terms for the game. My jaw dropped when he said, “For us, this is a training game, so let’s not try and have too many fights.” Turning back to the Saints, I was convinced that at least one poor soul would be going home with the medical team.
Thankfully our assumptions were false and we won comfortably 42-24 with all players still intact. Whilst Posnania lacked some flair during the game, their hospitality was second to none. The post match meal, or as they called it, the ‘third half’ was hugely appreciated by all in the touring squad. Hopefully we can host this incredibly friendly team on Uni Park in the future.
With the rugby out of the way, the rest of the tour went off without a hitch. Poland offered an environment very conducive to our wildly bunch of lads. Man of tour went to our very own fresher, Edward Quinn-Savory, who took no prisoners and when informed of his nocturnal activities replied with what soon became a theme of the trip, “Haha, stories.”