It took Western less than two minutes to get on the board, creating a tidal wave of first half scoring against an Oregon State Beaver squad that couldn’t dam the momentum.
Sparked by a 43-point first half, Western men’s rugby team, in its first game of 2017, shellacked Oregon State to the tune of 76-7 at Robert S. Harrington Field Saturday, Jan. 28.
Paul Horne, Western’s director of rugby, said the team didn’t foresee such a lopsided victory against a Division I opponent.
“I think that surprised everybody,” Horne said. “Including our guys.”
Junior inside center Cam Hazzard led the way for the Vikings with two tries in the first half.
“We came out firing,” Hazzard said. “Our set-piece play is unbelievable right now. We’re winning line-outs like nobody’s business.”
After taking a 43-0 lead at halftime, Western charged back to start the second half. Within the first minute, junior fullback Noah Hanks scooped up the ball from 20 yards out and scampered in for the try.
“They put the ball out to Max Stone,” Hanks said. “The defender came, made the tackle on him and I was there for the offload. I picked up the scraps and took it to the house.”
“Our set-piece play is unbelievable right now. We’re winning line-outs like nobody’s business.”
Despite the decisive victory, Horne said the team still has some areas to improve.
“Trying to get them to maintain the structure of the game rather than going one-on-one,” Horne said. “ Rugby’s all about 15-on-15. You’ve got to play as a team. We’ll continue to work on guys playing with structure and purpose.”
Western heads to Eugene, Oregon Saturday, Feb. 4, to take on the University of Oregon.