CU rugby ended winning streak in New Mexico, gears up for Brigham Young
With the loss of over half of last year’s starting lineup, the 2007 season is a rebuilding year for the CU men’s rugby team.
Currently sitting at 5-1, including a 49-3 road-game victory at the Colorado School of Mines, the rugby team has started off the season strong. But with three nationally ranked teams in their remaining schedule, unranked CU has their work cut out for them.
Sean Edris has been head coach of the men’s rugby team for 14 years. During this time, Edris has coached the team to three national top 16 finishes.
“Last year we were rated number thirteen in the country. We lost about seven or eight starters to graduation that year, so this is a rebuilding year for us,” Edris said.
Edris said this season’s biggest challenge will be an away game against Brigham Young University on march 17th. The American Rugby News ranked BYU as the 5th best collegiate team in the nation on January 30.
“Frankly I think they’re as good as Berkley if not better,” said Edris about BYU. Berkley is currently ranked 1st in the nation and are the defending national champions.
Senior Maximo DeAchaval and junior Keith Reineke are the team captains. Reineke and DeAchaval listed seniors Daniel Murphy and Kevin Smith as key returning players from last season.
“Those are two seniors that we’ve got that are definitely really heavy in our group. Then we got some other juniors who are definitely stepping it up, and even a sophomore,” DeAchaval said.
The team has shown the strength they retained from last season. On February 11, the rugby team left Galveston, Texas with a 1st place trophy at the annual Mardi Gras tournament. The tournament was highlighted by a last second game-winning kick in the final match.
But like any other sports team, CU rugby has its strengths and its weaknesses. Last Saturday in a road match against the University of New Mexico, the rugby team’s undefeated season slipped away in the final minutes of regulation play. The final score of the game was 40-35 after New Mexico scored a game-winning try on one of their final drives of the game.
“We gave them kind of a gift at the end that allowed them to win the game,” said head coach Sean Edris in a phone conversation immediately following the loss. Edris named Maximo DeAchaval and Dan Murphy as two of the game’s standout players.
This Saturday, the men’s rugby team has their home opener against the Denver Barbarians, a non-collegiate men’s team. Current CU head coach Sean Edris is a former player and head coach of the Barbarians.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer James Nicholson at James.Nicholson@thecampuspress.com.