The Pitt State women’s rugby team tied their first game against Springfield (19-19) on Thursday, Sept. 12. Their next game against John Brown University on Saturday, Sept. 14 was cancelled.
The women’s rugby team has a lot of new players this semester and for many of them this was the first rugby game they had ever played. Women’s rugby president and sophomore in biology Mauresa Caire believes everyone played well in the opening game of the 2019 season.
“I thought we did exceptionally well,” Caire said. “Half of our team right now is completely new… That was their first game that they had ever played and last year we went to Springfield (at) the same time and we lost 86-0. So, I think overall all (of) the new rookies, they did really well.”
One difference of this season as opposed to last season is that the Gorillas have had more time to practice before the beginning of the season and were able to get a feel for how rugby is played before they faced their first opponent.
“… I think this year starting out we are a bit more organized,” Caire said. “We’ve definitely… had a lot more practices this year and… especially like during practices like last year, we had five or six girls come out for a practice and this year we are having 10 to 15 girls at our practice and that helps you to have (a) more realistic depiction of how a game’s gonna play out and it helps us to have a better practice overall.”
According to Caire, the team was working well together at the end of the game after a rocky start.
“I think at first it was kind of a scramble,” Caire said. “But towards the end of the game, we were playing more as a team and we were able to set up an offensive line and we were working together on defense and putting more pressure on them which definitely helped us hold the game up.”
There were a few things that Caire saw during the game that needed to be fixed before the women’s rugby team’s next game.
“… I think we definitely need to work on our defense and rucking which (is) basically… you have to protect the ball,” Caire said. “… (We need to be) working on things quicker to protect the ball and keep the ball in our possession.”
Winning the game is the goal in most sports, but Caire also hopes that the team continues to grow and enhance their rugby skills while still enjoying the game and having fun.
“Obviously, I hope to win the game,” Caire said. “But I hope to see a lot of the new girls continue to improve and I think it is awesome that we have so many new girls that have never played this before. So, I hope for them to enjoy the sport and create a better liking for it.”
The women’s rugby team has an upcoming away game against Oklahoma State University on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 12 p.m.