It has been awhile since my last rugby write-up, and I believe I’ve come a long way. Instead of attending matches simply to ogle at men in short shorts, I now understand the rules and play of the game. Don’t get me wrong, the shorts are still a great perk, but the knowledge I have of the game was very useful when the USF men’s rugby team matched up against Humboldt State this past Saturday.
The team has been attempting to grow throughout the past three years. With constant dips and spikes in the roster, they’ve had a tough time with consistency. While USF has offered club rugby since 1997, they have often operated under the radar; however, the team has begun the season on an exciting note, winning their first game in the last three years.
The first half against Humboldt started out looking a bit grim when the opposing team quickly scored two tries. While it may have been easy for USF to become discouraged, the team kept their heads in the game and finished the half with a score of 12 to 17, down only one try.
The second half was full of exhilarating play. USF’s players fought with fervor, and it was clear that the team was finally starting to gain their bearings. Both teams consistently scored tries, but USF couldn’t seem to one up Humboldt.
Inevitably, injuries ensued throughout the game, the top honor going to USF player Hugo Ramirez. Exerting energy and a true knowledge of the game throughout the entire match, Ramirez could be seen making tackles and advancing the ball across the entire pitch. Unfortunately, during one of his tackles he was knocked in mouth, causing his jaw to break. He then had to walk himself and his broken jaw to St. Mary’s for treatment.
With the loss of one of their more experienced players, USF was forced to keep their play at one hundred percent. After a great return, the team was able to score, lessening the point discrepancy.
With a win nearly in their grasps, USF battled to get the ball back into their try zone. With the game nearing the end, USF kicked the ball resulting in a drop goal and an additional three points. This was just enough to put USF on top with a score of 30-29. The game ended as Humboldt neared their try line, coming close to a try, but missing out with mere seconds left on the game clock.
The team has undoubtedly grown out of its infant state, and, if they continue to play with the commitment and dedication, they will definitely be a force to be reckoned with this season. For more information on the team, and for a schedule of their games visit usfrugby.com.
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