Last Saturday, Sept. 21, the Bobcat rugby team went head-to-head against conference rivals the Idaho State University (ISU). The Bengals beat MSU 22-17 in what was a close battle to the very end.
“We need to work on getting our forwards and backs to play together,” said Backs Coach Ed McKenna. “And for each player to realize there are 14 other guys out there to help him win.”
At the end of the first half the Cats were down 5 -17, but in the second half the team held the Bengals to only one try, scoring two tries and a conversion themselves. “We did well in the second half,” McKenna said. “We began playing together as a team.”
Seniors Jordan Creveling and Tristan Parcheminer and sophomore Greg Pfister scored the team’s three tries with senior Josh Liebers adding two points with a conversion kick.
Rugby is a well-established program at ISU, meaning the team has the ability to offer scholarships to out of state athletes who wish to play. “They are one of the better teams in the conference,” said Head Coach Joe Williams.
The Bobcats are sending 12 players to BYU this weekend to play in a qualifying tournament for the National Rugby 7’s Championship in the spring of 2014. The team will play against schools such as Air Force, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah State.
In addition to competing in the 7’s tournament at BYU, MSU rugby will be hosting a 7’s tournament in Bozeman on Oct. 12. The team will also be working hard in the next few weeks to prepare for their upcoming home game against Utah State, another member of the Utah Collegiate Rugby Conference.
“We must beat Utah State if we are going to compete for the conference title,” McKenna said. “Right now we are weakest mentally, not physically, and we are working to get better mentally.”
The team will host Utah State Saturday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. at the Roskie Lambert Fields.