Rugby clubs flex in pair of big wins.
Western rugby players support a teammate to get possession after a lineout. // Photo by Oliver Hamlin
The Western men’s club rugby team defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs in their Saturday, Feb. 2 game at home at Robert S. Harrington Field. The Vikings didn’t allow a single try from the Bulldogs, resulting in a final score of 62-0.
“Our team played some of the best rugby we’ve played all year. The two big factors that gave us the win over Gonzaga were ball possession and physicality,” senior Charlie Ronan said. “We have our eyes set on beating teams on the next level at Nationals this year and this was a great step in being a champion team.”
The Vikings will be playing away next Saturday, Feb. 9 against the Central Washington Wildcats in the annual Cascade Cup.
The Western women’s club rugby team played a highly competitive match against the University of Washington Huskies in their Saturday, Feb. 2 game at home at Harrington Field. It was a tough victory as the lead fluctuated between the two teams for majority of the game. The Vikings pulled out a close win with a penalty kick and a final score of 41-39.
“The first try, I scored,” sophomore Natalie Williams said. “That was my first try ever in my two years of playing.” Williams went on to say she had her best game of the season, with two takes.
Down the stretch, it was impossible to predict who was going to take home the win, but the Vikings showed resilience by holding on and winning in the closing minutes of the match.
“We are a second half team, that’s who we are. We thrived in the last 10 minutes in the first half, and the last 20 minutes of our second half, that’s what our coach always says,” Williams said. “Toward the end we refused to give up and we just kept pushing through.”
Jaclyn Stapleton, a Western senior and one of the team’s top performers, said she liked what she saw from her team.
“I think we did really well in the second half. We were kinda scrambling in the first half but we came together and we played like us, so we did really well,” Stapleton said.
The game kept the crowd on the edge of its seat with both teams taking turns playing tough defense and offense.
The Vikings will be back on the field at Oregon State University next Saturday, Feb. 9.