In rugby, there’s no such thing as one key player.
“Every player is a ball carrier. … Everyone is a running back. Everyone is a crucial member of the team. Everyone has to run, pass, catch, tackle,” said Brian Kaufman, president of the Augusta Rugby Football Club.
The necessity of team effort could be seen Saturday during the fourth annual Back Nine Sevens Invitational held at North Augusta Middle School.
The Augusta Mad Dogs men’s and Augusta Furies women’s rugby teams were hosts of the event.
About 25 teams from Augusta, as well as Athens, Ga.; Atlanta; Charleston, Columbia and Greenville, S.C., participated in the tournament, with games played simultaneously on three fields.
Sevens rugby is a fast-paced game. Seven players from each team are on the field at the same time for seven-minute halves.
“The average scoring time in a sevens match is actually a minute, four seconds,” said Kaufman. “So every minute, four seconds, there’s another score.
“So you see a lot more explosiveness, a lot more speed, a lot more scores, so it’s very, very fan friendly.”
It’s a sport that requires players to think quickly and strategically, said Augusta Furies player Ruby Munoz.
“I enjoy that it’s a sport that involves a lot of different challenges,” she said.
As teams competed Saturday, teammates and spectators cheered one another on.
The level of among is what makes teams successful, said Furies coach Stacia Roeth.
“We’re here to support each other on and off the field. We’re here to play the best rugby that we can. We don’t get mad at each other,” she said. “We’re here to really play and have fun.”