The men’s rugby team played two games in the Collegiate Gateway Conference Championship. The team won the first game against SLU (22-17) on Saturday, Nov. 2. Following that game, the team went head to head with Missouri S&T on Sunday, Nov. 3 but the Gorillas lost that match (17-46).
Club president and senior in communication Ivan Walter thought the team performed well during the games but ultimately couldn’t overcome the obstacles they were faced with.
“We played SLU on Saturday and we were (an) 11-point underdog and we came out and we won 22-17,” Walter said. “It was a hard-fought battle. We played really well. I was really proud of the team. Then we played again (on) Sunday for the championship and it was just too much to handle for us. It just seemed like we were sluggish and playing and any time you play a double header like that in back to back days, there’s (going to) be lots of injuries and things you have to deal with. We just weren’t able to overcome that problem.”
With a young and pretty inexperienced team, there are bound to be little mistakes made but Walter was proud of the team for fighting and never giving up.
“… We made a lot of mistakes that young teams make,” Walter said. “Just technique kind of stuff. While I wish we could have improved for the amount of time we had this year and all the things, it’s hard to teach guys the game of rugby in one semester and for a lot of guys, it was their first time ever playing rugby. And just how good a lot of these kids are, it’s been awesome to see. I had such a great time. So, besides fundamental stuff like that, the team always plays hard and that’s all I can ask for.”
Senior Ty Goss, communication major and the on-field team captain for men’s rugby, believes the team played well during both games.
“… We played really well in both games,” Goss said. “We kind of shot ourselves in the foot in both games. Day two against S&T we shot ourselves in the foot a lot more and we couldn’t get the momentum going back our way. That’s ultimately why we lost. But we still played our guts out, we still gave it everything we had which I love to see from the boys. It’s always a better way to go out like that but getting runner up is pretty awesome especially when we were underdogs (who) don’t even make it past day one. So, (it was a) pretty awesome feeling in the end.”
Now that conference play is over, the team will have friendly matches in the spring so they can continue to improve.
“At this point, conference is over,” Goss said. “We’re kind of into the more fun half now. So, at this point it’s enjoy the ride that we had… It was a lot of fun. But shout out to all the seniors. They worked their butts off to get where we got today…”
The men’s rugby team’s last game of the fall semester is going to be a friendly match. The game is against Washburn University on Saturday, Nov. 9.
“… The game against Wash-U is just kind of (going to) be a little fun one,” Goss said.
Walter is proud of the team for how far they’ve come and how much effort they put into every game.
“Out of all the teams I’ve ever played with, this team has a ridiculous amount of heart and ridiculous amount of drive,” Walter said. “They love to give their all, all the time and that’s all I can ask (for) from them. So, while we didn’t get the results we wanted, I saw a lot from this team that… made me really proud to be a part of the squad.”