Here on the other side of the pond, rugby is still somewhat perplexing. But in a good way. Like pop rocks. So we got in touch with Peter Mullins, a DSC member and player for the Chicago Riot Rugby Football Club—to take us inside the scrum.
Q: How did you get started in rugby and the Riot rugby club in particular?
A: I began my affair with rugby in high school after visiting Ireland and returning with a souvenir ball. After that, I decided to start a team at my high school. The rest is history.
Q: What’s the best part of playing for Riot rugby?
A: I have 60 friends who share the same passion for the sport that I do.
Q: Why rugby and not football?
A: I love that rugby is a sport than anyone can pick up and play—all you need are some cleats and a ball. Also, unlike American football, every player plays both offense and defense. So it requires a more well-rounded athlete.
Q: Most gruesome on-field injury?
A: Rugby is a much safer sport than you would think. It sounds counterintuitive, but since the players are not wearing pads and there is no blocking, we tend to have few serious injuries. That doesn’t mean there isn’t the occasional “freak” accident. I did see someone get a cleat through their cheek recently.
Q: How do you explain taped-up fingers and a black eye at work?
A: I tell them I play in a competitive shuffleboard league.
Q: In a sport that seemingly has no rules, what are the unwritten rules of the game?
A: This misconception that the game is lawless only exists in America. There are actually many rules—as well as a few unwritten rules. Things like do not argue/speak with the ref unless you are the captain. Also, the home team must host a party for the visiting team.
Q: Sounds like you guys take the post-game festivities pretty seriously.
A: We host a party at Mahoney’s Pub & Grille after all of our home games. Anyone who attends our games are welcome to join us. We purposefully host our games on Saturdays because as everyone knows, Saturday’s a Rugby Day.
Q: How many drinks does it take to make the pain go away?
A: Exactly 9.
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