Men’s Rugby tries harder!

Try! Try harder! Try to be a great team player! Try to make it to practice! Try to attend the rugby games! Try to be a dedicated fan! Men’s rugby is back in season!What’s all the “try” stuff about? If Guilford College rugby fans were never taught rugby, they wouldn’t know that a “try” is worth five points and is rewarded when a player controls the ball to the ground inside their in-goal area. After the try, they can score a conversion for two points.

Throughout the game a player can kick a goal to earn three points. So consider this, our men’s team ended last season with an 89-5 win, and a 7-2 record.

“The team has been improving every year” said senior team captain Chris Pugliese, who is looking forward to the new season and playing with new players. “We have some really promising freshmen.”

Sophomore Alex Knox is new to the team this year. “It has been great,” he said. “I joined because I had friends on the team and I wanted to keep in shape while having fun.”

The team has their share of obstacles to tackle, literally and figuratively.

“We aren’t as big as a lot of the other guys in the league,” Pugliese said. What the team lacks in size, they make up for with high intensity and a passion to win.

Their two losses last season were to Duke and Elon, making those schools top priority to beat this year.

“We were so close to winning the Duke game; we just missed it by two points at the end,” said junior starter Bryce Bjornson. He is anxious to get those two points back on Nov. 1, when the Quakers play at Duke.

The team has the talent to overcome Duke, but they worry about player retention.

“It’s hard to hold on to players as the season rolls on,” Pugliese said.

Dedication problems may be due to the lack of support the team receives as a club sport versus a funded varsity sport. Club sports don’t have the privileges and resources as the football, soccer, and tennis teams.

“The new tennis courts, yeah that used to be our pitch (field),” Bjornson said.

Despite the displacement of their home field, the team is looking forward to the upcoming games and the fan support that they enjoyed last season.

“The game at UNCG last year, Guilford fans outnumbered the UNCG fans!” Pugliese said with pride.

A rugby game is a great atmosphere for anyone to enjoy.

If spectators are afraid of the blood, guts, and brutality, they will be happy to know that gruesome injuries are a little over-rated. Rugby players don’t wear protective gear so they have special safety rules and techniques that maintain the integrity of the sport. Focused-strength is more important than brute-aggression.

As Pugliese put it, “Soccer is a gentlemen’s sport played by hooligans, but rugby is a hooligan’s sport played by gentlemen.”

This is a great team to keep your eye on as they play out their season. They are going to stay focused on becoming more integrated by expecting more out of each other’s dedication. So let’s keep giving them student body dedication.