A couple weekends ago there was a tournament on Almaty of local and regional Kazakh teams and the rugby group went out for some practice and to enjoy some games. Here's Emily playing in a game of keep away:
The first game we watched was the women's national team which I thought would be cool for Emily to see but it was BRUTAL!!! Hitting and tackling and yanking of hair and pulling down shorts and just plain nasty (one of the English guys with the group assured me that in a pile there would also be biting and spitting and scratching going on.) I told Emily to stick with touch rugby.
Here are the women duking it out. The Kazakh national team is in red.
At one point three women were down at once. Medics came on the field and two got up pretty quickly but one was down for quite a while. We saw her later on the sideline with cotton stuffed up her nose and a big bandage. I couldn't resist getting a photo.
The men's Kazakh national team played as well. (The men's games were rough but didn't seem to have the same vicious undertone as the women. It's a fun game to watch and I can see how fans get passionate about a team.) One of Emily's coaches is #8 on the end. He really likes Emily and is often taking her aside to teach her some rugby moves.
It was a fun day and good to learn a little about a sport I never paid much attention to before.