The Colorado State men’s rugby squad handed Colorado a lopsided 57-0 defeat in the first league game of the season on Saturday. The Rams were a few steps ahead of their rivals all afternoon. They jumped out to an early lead on a try by Lance Eberhard and never looked back. The Buffs had no answer for CSU’s speed and physical runners.
“The strategy was just to go in with a high tempo,” head coach Justin Mort said. “We wanted to stay at our pace instead of slowing down to theirs.”
That was what CSU did for nearly the entire game. Ben Pinkelman, who served as a captain for the match, scored two more tries early in the half. Eric Clouse added to the lead when he bulldozed his way in for another. The Buffs almost scored right before halftime but Estevan Crispin was able to rip the ball away leading to Pinkelman’s third try of the day and giving the Rams a commanding 31-0 lead at the half.
“We were just that much more ready for this game and they wanted nothing to do with it,” Clouse said.
CU never stopped fighting but also never made it onto the scoreboard. The Rams kept pouring it on in the second frame starting with a try by Crispin that was set up by Sean Williams. Luke Engelhaupt and Oliver Jenkins also scored in the second half. Evan Geist converted a try to put the final touches on the game and extend the lead to 57-0 after the conversion kick by Eberhard. Eberhard made six of his nine kicks on the day, with two of the misses coming from difficult angles and rattling off of the uprights.
“We felt so ready before it that we thought maybe we were getting overconfident,” Geist said. “But once we got going, we knew we were a lot better than them.”
League play continues for the Rams in their next match at Air Force. The Rams meet the Falcons on Saturday, September 27 at 2 p.m. in Colorado Springs.
Collegian Sports Reporter Emmett McCarthy can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter at @emccarthy22.