A Foreign Team to Most

Sep 282004
Authors: Scott Bondy

Editor’s note: Joelle Milholm and Laura Epple are both Collegian

employees, but they were not involved in the writing or editing of

this story. Milholm is the sports editor and Epple is a volleyball


There are two teams in soccer-like jerseys.

There is a ball, goal posts and a referee.

The players tackle each other with a vengeance.

No, this isn’t the CSU football team. It’s the recently reformed

women’s rugby club.

After six years without a team, the club team hopes to have some

of the same success as the men’s team.

“Our goal is to make it to the Sweet 16 of our league (Eastern

Rockies Rugby Football Union/USA Rugby) and get some recognition as

a team,” said Amanda Keymeir, freshman prop. “We also would like

more community support so we can grow as a team.”

Rugby, a sport known for aggressive, heavy contact, is most

easily recognized by the scrum, in which eight players from each

team drive against each other, creating a tight clump of players on

the field. Scrums are similar to a toss-up, in that they allow both

teams the chance to fight for possession of the ball after an

infraction occurs.

Three players head up each team’s scrum – one hooker and a prop

on either side. The props, which is the position Keymeir plays,

support the hooker and initiate contact with the other team, while

the hooker attempts to kick the ball back to her teammates.

The women’s team, lead by many veteran rugby players, currently

posts a 2-2 record for the year.

One of these veterans, Joelle Milholm, serves as coach and

president of the team and can be seen on the field barking orders

at other players.

Fifteen players are on the field at one time in rugby attempting

to score a “try,” which is similar to a touchdown and is worth five

points. Conversion kicks after a successful try are worth two

additional points. The ball resembles a football with rounded edges

and can be advanced down the field by kicking, running or passing

backwards. Passes up the field are not allowed.

The women’s game greatly matches the men’s.

The contact is the same. The rules are the same and the desire

to win is equally strong. But with a new team, the women will

certainly face challenges this season.

“We are all learning pretty quickly out there,” Keymeir said.

“The fact that we haven’t played together for very long is a

downside, but we have seen some improvement since the first couple

of games.”

The lady Rams won their matchup with the Eastern Rockies Rugby

Football Union Under-19s team by a score of 19-10. Milholm scored

two tries and made two conversions while Paige Fitzgerald-Smith

scored the other try.

CSU will next face Air Force on Oct. 10 at 11:30 a.m. Air Force

was the national champion two years ago and ranked fifth in the

nation last season,.

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