Men’s and women’s rugby kick off their season, compete in first tournaments of the year

Matthew Benusa

Lafayette’s men’s and women’s rugby teams competed in their first tournament of the year on Saturday, March 3. Each team came away from the tournament with one victory out of three matches and no major injuries, but there is something to be said for the performances of each team.

“For most people on the team, it was their first experience playing [in] Rugby Sevens,” said freshman Matthew Wierzbicki. Rugby Sevens is when seven players play on each team, instead of 13 which is the normal number.

Senior Ashley Rodriguez echoed Wierzbicki’s statement, saying that the team’s underclassmen really shone through at their tournament.

On the day of their tournament, the women’s rugby team scored 45 points. In the first game against Juniata College, the final score was a dominating 30-5 for the Women’s team. Their next two games against, Siena and Franklin and Marshall, did not go as well as the first,. The women lost both games, scoring only one try, giving them five points, against Siena and two tries, 10 points, against Franklin and Marshall.

Rodriguez said that their prop players were standout in the tournament, with them scoring a few tries throughout the weekend.

“The game is setup so that our faster players can get the ball and run it into our try zone, where our prop players are really helping us drive up the field,” Rodriguez said. “Our captain is a prop and she scored two tries.”

For the men’s team, they went against Drexel, Bloomsburg and Franklin and Marshall’s teams. The first game, against Drexel, saw the Leopards come away with a tie–each team scored 12 points in the game.

After that, Bloomsburg easily put away the Leopards by a score of 40-5, but the men came back strong to finish the tournament with a 24-7 victory over Franklin and Marshall.

Most players on the team played their first Rugby Sevens game ever at the tournament, and the team’s captains were missing due to illness and injury.

“The tournament was a good wake up call,” Wierzbicki said. “We got to see what we need to work on, and we know what we’re able to do.”