Rugby loses in season opener
On Saturday, Sept. 8, Georgia College’s club rugby team lost to Valdosta State University 14-7.
Junior community health major and team Social Chair Jack O’Connor says the team was ready for the game.
“We prepared by practicing our regular three days a week and then we had an extra practice … the day before the game,” O’Connor said. “The morning of the game we met up and discussed the game plan.”
The team held up a strong fight until the end.
“I feel like we were pretty equally matched,” O’Connor said.
Though O’Connor believes the teams are evenly matched, junior business major and president of the club, Juan Salleras, says GC’s rugby club team was not in top shape for the second half, which resulted in the loss.
“We only scored once in the first half and none in the second,” Kyle Denis said.
He said the team tried its best to refocus in the second half.
“Noel Mankin and I tried to keep everyone motivated and point out the downfalls of the first half and how to improve them,” Denis said. “We especially focused on the guys who have never played before.”
According to Salleras the game was a close matchup.
“The first half was pretty neck and neck; however the second half players were not where they needed to be so VSU began scoring on us,” Salleras said. “It is a change of pace this year from last year but it has become a fun little rivalry.”
Top scorers for this game were Denis, and junior criminal justice major Jacob McGoff.
“Seligman had a very impressive try in the first half,” Denis said. “This brought him to kick for two which was also good.”
Salleras has high hopes for the season ahead due to the team’s performance in the past.
“Last year, we actually beat VSU and Georgia Tech,” Salleras said. “We were real close to beating UGA last year but I think we can do it this year. I have a feeling we are going to do phenomenal this season.”
The team currently has 25 players. O’Connor also agrees with Salleras and sees the talent in these players.
“A lot of the new players this year have amazing potential. I can’t wait to bring them to many victories in the future.” O’Connor said.
Denis says he is looking forward to the upcoming season.
“I am excited about getting more people involved in rugby,” Denis said. “I want to make rugby more popular within the GCSU community. We would like to have two different teams. That is the big goal.”
The next rugby games will take place from Sept. 15 to 16 at Georgia Southern University for the Black Rose Tournament. The following weekend the team plays at home to take on North Georgia College & State University.