Civil War Match Sticks To Script, North Wins

posted Nov 15, 2010, 8:36 PM by Karl Seibert
Ann Arbor, 14 November 2010

In Ann Arbor each year, a pickup match takes place between North and South of town.  Full match report repeated below:

Not having been beaten so badly since the late 19th century, the South today were helpless to what became a Northern commanded bloodbath.  The Mason-Dixon was South University, and despite having almost perfectly matched numbers, the two sides were far from perfectly matched. The more experienced North, favored due to many factors including major control of railroad, shipping, and scrumhalf-flyhalf transit took first blood just minutes after opening gunfire.  It would be a frequent occurrence.  Grand Adjudicator Jim Hagerman, whistle in hand, made sure the proceedings took place according to the major laws of warfare, although it was touted that the game was a foreshadowing of the type of warfare to be seen in WWI(II).  Ten percent of fighting-aged Northern soldiers died during the War Between the States, while 30% of their Southern contemporaries met the same fate; today, in a similar vein, more than thirty percent of the Northern players found their way over the goal line while only about 10% of the Southerners did.

From the start, the South were at a disadvantage; only eleven states succeeded and General Berklich didn't even show due to a prior engagement - studying up for future battles that are now moot; the war being well and clearly over.  The side's motley jerseys portrayed almost perfectly their muddled and disjointed plan of attack; the color they wore - red - wasn't even for the right war.  Meanwhile, General Hagan's men were at the battlefield early, painting lines and erecting goal posts at dawn; waiting, waiting.  Their matching jerseys were from an older era, the 1840s perhaps, but well constructed as if from the needle of Betsy Ross.

Set piece was dominated early by the North, but the South surged hard and kept competitive in that regard up to full time.  It was play in the loose that won the day, and much of that rugby was played by the North.  The Yanks' poise and prowess in the offload made for try after try, while the South did well to win turnover ball at the breakdown.  This Sectionalism-type difference in ability quite effectively worked to the North's advantage due to sheer territory and possession, the two keys to any war. 

In the optimistic end though, the Club is kept intact and now we begin the long and trying (and wintery) process of Reconstruction.  With both University and Club sides having held their end-of-season banquets Friday and Saturday, it truly was a Michigan Rugby weekend; plenty of new and old faces, brothers fighting against brothers.

The North:

Chase Chapman, Matt Daniel, Dabbling Daniel, Aaron Dodd, Andrew Dougovito, Nicholas Dyrda, Matt Forsyth, Bob Frauman, Avi Giladi, Jeffrey Hagan, Joshua Knight, Michael Olszewski, Theodore Pixley, Elmo Pratt, Ryan Rogel, Andy Schwarzkopf, Karl Seibert, Thomas Stulberg, Patrick Wingate, Kevin Zimmer, Brian Zimmer