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"There are very specific rules about tackling, and you can't tackle unless you are wrapped up. Without a helmet on, you learn how to tackle with your head behind, old school tackling like you learned as a kid,"Dennehy said.
An enthusiastic crowd of about 200 cheered on the Asheville team in a sport in which many are unfamiliar.
While the sport is much more popular Adidas Duramo Running Review
During an injury break, the two teams chatted amicably, with one Chapel Hill player Adidas Harden 2017
"We've had one separated shoulder this year, mostly muscular, pulls and sprains. It's a tough game, but our fitness level is different. Lot of aerobic work, in addition to strength training."
"That last stand goes to the heart of our team," said coach Patrick Dennehy, celebrating with a pint at Westville Pub, a rugby tradition in which the host team entertains the visitors just minutes after they were violently running into each other.
The Asheville club is in its 31st year and features an interesting mix of men from their early 20s to almost 40 years old, students and professionals, a director of assisted living to a physical therapist.
When a Chapel Hill player hurt his shoulder during the match, an Asheville player, who is a physical therapist, tended to him.
"Good way to get out the stress," said Johnson, who scored a second half try and then went to the sidelines to get a bandage for a banged up forehead suffered during the score.
"It's a great way to get rid of stress. There are 15 different positions, so there are lots of different body types.
"I love the camaraderie of a team sport," said club president Marcus Johnson, 35, who has played rugby for 14 years.
"They actually crossed the goal line four times (a five point try only counts when the ball is actually touched down to the ground in the try zone) without scoring, and that just shows our tenacity."
After more than an hour of nonstop rugged play Saturday, the Asheville Rugby Club's undefeated season came down to one last defensive stand.
Ahead Adidas Duramo 5 Shoes Review by just two points in the waning moments at Carrier Park, Asheville was trying to stop Chapel Hill, which was less than five yards from the goal line and a winning score.
"You find that wherever you go, rugby players are the same," he said. "Usually a open minded person who accepts different people, a team player that has a toughness to him."
"I love violent mens' sports, and with football over, rugby is perfect!" Michelle Bryan, of Asheville, said with a big laugh.
But Asheville (11 0) withstood the challenge and held on for a thrilling 17 15 win in the second round of the Division III playoffs of the Carolina Rugby Union.
up North and abroad, most of the team features local players.
offering this sarcastic joke to the Asheville players, "I hear your beer up here is (lousy)!"
"That would be be tough to do," he said with a grin. "It's possible I guess, but I wouldn't know about that.".
"We have guys who never played sports, and it's a great fit for them, guys who have never tackled a man before, but they get used to it. And we have guys who have played sports their whole life."
"The abundance of testosterone is just great. And the (Asheville) women's team, that really stirs up my girl power."
The team will play for the CRU championship versus Triad next week, a match that will be held in Asheville provided the team can find a field to host the match.
The camaraderie among the teams was evident throughout the match, in between the frequent scrums and tackles in a sport that incorporates rules of soccer and American football.
He played the game in college at Florida Atlantic and also while living in France, and finds himself drawn to a sport he says features a certain type of person.
Ben Disney, a 32 year old from Florida, is the smallest and perhaps the best player on the team at 5 5, 150 pounds.
While it's a physical game with plenty of hard tackling, Dennehy said there are surprisingly few serious injuries.
Asheville Rugby team remains undefeated
pay players actually pay dues to be on the team so it falls somewhere between a hobby, a love of the sport and the thrill of competition that brings guys back to a sport in which there is hard physical contact almost start to finish for two 40 minute halves.
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