March 24th, 2010
At the foot of an active volcano 900 miles from the South Pole, Tom Leard leads a fearless band of men and women over a battlefield of frozen sea, beneath a relentless sun. Ash billows out from the peak behind them as they approach their enemies, who stand staggered across the barren stretch of ice, clad in black from head to toe.
Here, on a January day in Antarctica's frozen McMurdo Sound, Leard and company have come for the latest installment of a decades-long tradition: A rugby match, played between the American and New Zealand research bases, on a field of sea ice 10 feet thick.
Today's match is the 26th in the series – which New Zealand leads, 25-0. Zero is also the number of 'tries' – rugby's equivalent of touchdowns – the Americans have scored in the history of the rivalry, which is the southernmost rugby game in the world. [...]
And yes, the post does include a photo of the 'Ice Blacks' doing the haka…