The men’s rugby team opened their spring season this past weekend with games against K-State and Benedictine on Saturday, Mar. 20. The Gorillas lost to K-State 12-5 but turned the day around and ended with a victory against Benedictine 27-4.
Owen Gray, President of Men’s Rugby and junior in history/government, admitted that there’s room for improvement but was ultimately satisfied with the way the rugby Gorillas played over the weekend.
“I’m very happy with how the team did,” Gray said. “We were trying out some new attacking schemes and it was not as successful as we hoped but we had a lot of guys do a lot of things right. So, we’re really happy with it and we’re glad to be able to look at and do it again this week (and) work on it again this week.”
A year ago, the pandemic swept through the nation, canceling sporting seasons and scheduled games as it went. This past weekend was the first opportunity that the men’s rugby team had to play again and, according to Gray, the Gorillas were eagerly anticipating the games.
“It felt fantastic,” Gray said. “The atmosphere at practice all week was some of the most excited times… We were really excited to be back in it… the fact that it was just a beautiful bay, little muddy, but a beautiful bay really helped, and I couldn’t have been happier.”
Several players stood out to Gray during the match ups.
“A lot of my seniors players stood out to me,” Gray said. “Jarrod Tayrien, he was our president last year, he’s gonna graduate this spring. His leadership on the field really stood out to me. Forest Denney really came out. We put him in a position he’s not really used to. He came out and played very well. Parker Mogren, our team captain, did a fantastic job just kind of relaying what he wanted done and telling guys where to go. We had a couple new guys step up. Ignacio Cuevas, he is… (an) exchange student from Paraguay, came out and played like a stud.”
The men’s rugby club is staying home next weekend. They will play Washburn University on Saturday, April 3 at 1 p.m. After that, the Gorillas will play two games against John Brown University, a game of sevens and a game of tens.
“I’m hoping to see a lot of improvement on our attacking scheme,” Gray said. “…I’m really hoping to see guys step up and really start to figure the system out. But other than that, I couldn’t be happier with what we did (on) Saturday.”
To reach out to the men’s rugby club, students can contact them through Facebook or at the Student Recreation Center.
“…We’re open,” Gray said. “If people want to join, they want to come out, they want to try it, we’re more than happy to have people out. We’re willing to explain the game, teaching the game, everything like that.”