The Men’s Rugby team travelled to New Orleans to compete in the Mardi Gras on Saturday, Feb. 15. The Gorillahead Rugby team won the tournament and were named the Mardi Gras Rugby Tournament Champions. They played three games in the tournament and won all three. The first game was against Georgia Tech (29-20), game two was against the University of New Orleans (22-7), and the third and final game was against the University of Louisiana Lafayette (37-7).
Club President and junior in business management Jarrod Tayrien believes the team played well despite having less players than usual.
“I think we did really good, especially coming back from Christmas break,” Tayrien said. “We did travel with 16 players due to the fact that some of the other players have schoolwork and other reasons to stay behind. But I think we did really especially the way we turned out.”
Despite these being the first games since winter break, the rugby team was able to compete and win the tournament.
“… Our first game was Georgia Tech,” Tayrien said. “We scored two tries in the first ten minutes of the game and that’s what really started off the tempo. We weren’t at our best conditions during the game, but we started off pretty good and Georgia Tech started making us make… little mistakes so they started scoring… but we started capitalizing what our mistakes were then they started making their mistakes… Our second game was against University of New Orleans and that was a team that won state for Louisiana in college. That was supposed to be the toughest team in Louisiana, and we came off with a big win… We started off really well all around against them… Going into the University of Louisiana Lafayette… we pretty much did what we usually do which is just give the ball to the back line and evade
Tayrien noticed a couple of things the team needs to improve before their next game.
“… we’re hoping to achieve just working on supporting our ruts,” Tayrien said. “Because we need to improve that, especially coming up to the next game and we also need to work on our conditioning especially coming back from Christmas break.”
Freshman Parker Mogren did extremely well in the tournament according to Tayrien.
“I’d like to give a really honorable mention to freshman Parker Mogren,” Tayrien said. “… With the guidance of Sam Long, (who) helped him out, he was the (most) outstanding player out of the whole tournament in my opinion.”
The game against Oral Roberts University, which was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, was cancelled. Next up for Gorillahead Rugby is a home game against the Springfield Men’s Club on Saturday, Feb. 29.