Rugby Ready to Rumble

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Sep 052006
 
Authors: AARON SCHOONMAKER The Rocky Mountain Collegian

One club team at CSU insists that there is no need for pads: rugby.

Ram rugby, which opened up in an impressive fashion against Metro State on Aug. 27, thwarting the Roadrunners four tries to one, is hoping to improve on a past season in which it saw many highs.

“We have a tough schedule this year, playing three of our four league matches away from home,” said first-year Head Coach Blake Stevens. “It should be a big step up, especially for a lot of the younger guys on the team.”

The team, which is ideally supposed to play two home and two away matches against the league foes, is in the middle of a three-to-one run as it played host to three of the four just a season ago.

“We will have a few games to gel before we get to Wyoming,” said Stevens. “And then we go to CU (Boulder) and Air Force before getting New Mexico here.”

Wyoming is the surprise of the bunch, making it to the sweet 16 last year.

This year’s match-up is scheduled for Sept. 24, just one day shy of the one-year anniversary of the teams’ last meeting when the Cowboys got the better of the Rams, 22-11.

“This year’s team is real strong at every position, especially starters, but we have depth too,” said junior fly-half Logan Collins. “(This season) we expect wins at CU, Wyoming and Air Force.”

Last weekend marked the annual alumni weekend for the team. Each year the squad, new and old, meets up for a weekend of festivities.

This season, the faces of the program attended the football home opener on Saturday, and then played the classic game on Sunday.

While none of this season’s matches are too far of a travel, the alumni game was the only time to see Ram rugby at home until its Oct. 7 meeting against the Glendale Men’s Club. It will then finish the first half of its season at home against league challenger New Mexico on Oct. 28.

“We’re very strong this year,” Collins said. “And we have a coach that knows the team and knows what needs to get done.”

Staff writer Aaron Schoonmaker can be reached at sports@collegain.com.

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