CSU rugby routes Utah State for first win of the season

Tyler Johnson

Back Daniel Trump dodges a Utah State tackler during the Rams’ victory on Sept. 23 on the IM Fields at CSU. (Tyler Morales | Collegian)

The Colorado State men’s club rugby team scored early and often in a 52-10 victory over the Utah State Aggies in the first game of the 2017-18 season.

The Rams started hot, scoring just minutes into the game to take an early 5-0. Historically, the team has had problems getting off to a fast start, sometimes taking 15 minuets to really find rhythm. However, this was not an issue for the Rams today.

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“It wasn’t our hardest competition of the year,” head coach Rod Hartley said. “But the fact that our guys were able to score early really shows how focused they are early in the season.”

The Rams added to their lead 28 minutes into the first half taking a commanding 12-0 lead. The Aggies would inch their way back with a score 32 minutes into the first half. Just 2 minutes later, however, the Rams answered to take a 19-5 lead heading into the half. The Rams came out of half strong, scoring just one minute into the half, making the score 26-5.

Then the rain started to fall. Big plays from both sides were halted as players struggled to keep a grip on the ball and their footing. Even with the conditions, the Rams scored four more times while holding the Aggies to just one sore in the second half to earn their first win of the young season.

The Rams showed great teamwork encouraging each other to finish strong. After the game, the team challenged each other to not let anyone score on them for the rest of the season. Team captain Jaron Beerline was happy with the team’s effort in the first competition of the year.

“I think the score speaks for itself,” Beerline said. “We were able to play well even in the rain. There is still a lot of work to do and we have some big matches coming up”

Hartley said that the performance was something they should be proud of but the weather assured the team still needs to improve its ball control and tackling.

Focus now turns to a matchup between the Rams and No. 11 Utah in Salt Lake City. The game figures to test the Rams and show where they stack up against a top team in the nation.

The Rams will return home to face off against their northern rival Wyoming on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. at the Intramural Fields. In addition, the Rams will do battle against in-state rival Colorado one week later on Saturday, Oct. 14 in Boulder.

Collegian sports reporter Tyler Johnson can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TylerGjohnson20.