Oh, well done, Nomads!"
But a kilted piper in the stands blew a discordant skirl of disapproval.
"Scrum it up lads!"
Eton? Cambridge? No, Cartier Field, Notre Dame, Ind. But the scene, except for a few anomalies, could have come from Tom Brown's School Days.
Fifteen intense players in the green shirts and white shorts of the Notre Dame Rugby Club were tearing up and down the field with 15 equally rapt players wearing the blue-and-white-striped jerseys and blue shorts of the Toronto Rugby Club. They converged and spread apart, hurled themselves in vicious tackles, punted, drop-kicked and place-kicked, and lateraled the ball underhand while soaring horizontally through the air. This was the final of the First Notre Dame Invitational Rugby Tournament, considered to be, because of the strength of the teams, the most important American Rugby tournament of the season. On the previous day, playing on a puddled field, Notre Dame had beaten Columbia and Virginia, while Toronto was skidding by Indiana and Army.
Now on the slick stadium grass, with the fat yellow ball as slippery to handle as a wet watermelon, the two fine teams vied for the Irish Challenge Cup. Toronto supporters, some in blazers and straw hats bearing the legend NOMADS. wandered up and down the sidelines, closely following the play.
"Loovly, loovly, loovly!" one of the Toronto fans cried as a Toronto player punted over the sidelines.
"He found touch," explained the public-address announcer in rich British accents, then immediately translated: "He kicked it out-of-bounds."
A moment later it was Notre Dame's turn to cheer as its fast backs, dodging and lateraling the ball across the field, brought it into Toronto territory.