By JEREMY JORDAN
The University of Mary Washington rugby team opened its spring 2008 season with a win in dominating fashion over Christopher Newport University. The “Mothers” beat the Patriots 48-10.
The good weather Saturday brought out one of the larger crowds to the Battlegrounds. The spectators were treated to quite a performance as the Mothers came out firing.
A total of four tries were scored in the first half, however none were scored by Christopher Newport. A try in rugby is worth five points and the kick after is worth two points. Because the kick is taken from a spot parallel to where the ball is placed in the try-zone, the kick is worth more than in football because of the extreme angles of the kick.
The Patriots were finally able to get on the board with just a few minutes left in the game but by that point many of the Mary Washington starters had already called it a day.
Still it was the Mothers who scored the last try of the game, capping off the first win of the season. Overall the team had 7 tries, two of which came from team co-captain, junior Ben Burgoyne.
Burgoyne suggested that the team is in a rebuilding phase. This begs the question that if this is the case, what phase is Christopher Newport in?
Team co-captain, junior Kyle Yolles, believes the team is simply in transition. “We’re thinking about going into Division III,” Yolles said.
If the team moves down from Division II, Mary Washington would be competing against schools such as, Old Dominion University and Longwood University.
Although these matches during the spring don’t count as conference games players believe they still serve a valuable purpose.
“We have things we need to work on,” said junior Baker Pruiksma. Baker said that the main goal in spring is to get the new guys that haven’t played before some playing time, and to build a good foundation for next fall.
The rugby team is always recruiting, and is happy to have new guys come out to practices. Practices are from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“We just need numbers right now. We have about 30 guys,” Burgoyne said. “On a real side you really need about 40 to 45,” he added.
Since last spring the rugby team has lost many players due to graduation.
“We had a really senior-dominated team last year,” Pruiksma said.
According to Yolles the most important thing for the team right now is recruitment.
“Right now we only have one senior who’s playing,” Pruiksma said.
On Saturday, the younger team members were able to show their improvement.
“A lot of the younger guys stepped up really well today,” Burgoyne said.
At least for one day the future looked bright for the men’s rugby team.
“It was a good game, we worked together real well. We communicated pretty well,” Burgoyne said. “There’s still a lot to work on though since we’re still young.”
The team is trying to put together a successful spring season, while allowing their younger players to gain valuable experience, so that the fall should be a successful season. Perhaps then, there can be more games just like this one.
“It’s fun when you play a team that you can whoop on,” Burgoyne said .