CSU club rugby falls to Army in first round of playoffs

Evan Grant

The Colorado State club rugby team took the field for their first playoff matchup against Army Friday night at the Intramural Fields at Colorado State University. In a matchup that tested the resilience of the Rams one more time this season after an already tough, obstacle-filled spring campaign, CSU fell to Army in their playoff game this year.

After a quick penalty kick for CSU in the first minutes of the game, the Rams took a 3-0 lead which would soon be lost and not regained for the remainder of the game. Three unanswered scores for Army gave them a 26-3 lead over the Rams before CSU was able to respond with a score of their own cutting the lead to 26-10.

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CSU was never able to get back on top after Army added four more scores to their total while CSU only added another one to their tally, giving Army the win 52-15 over the Rams at the end of the game.

“Considering the challenges, we played the game with considerable tenacity,” head coach Rod Hartley said. “With highlight performances from Jacob Russell, our acting Captain, Senior Lock Forward Duncan Frost scoring try’s, and with Max Weylan with a strong game at fly half with kicking our extra points and directing our backline play.

The Rams’ season ended with the loss to Army, but despite the loss, the Rams had much to celebrate and hold their heads high about at the end of the season.

After a coaching switch mid-season and a few injuries to key players including the loss of captain Liam Wynne, who broke his jaw in the Utah State game, what the Rams were able to accomplish this season was impressive given the adversity.

“This team showed remarkable resilience and composure in a hard-fought game with injuries to our starting lineup that had us digging deep into our reserve players, some of whom playing their first game with the D-I squad,” Hartley said.

The Rams will hope to be back next season even better after a successful campaign this year which saw many new faces on the roster.

“This team has been nationally ranked for the past few years and have completed two unbeaten runs in conference play in order to be able to host a first round playoff game for the Collegiate National Championship,” Hartley said. “With a great group of young freshmen Joe Rusert Cuddy, Max Weylan, Austin Dozier and Scott Nies and returning senior leaders like Anton Barlow, Matt Peppercorn and Ben Prenter, the future of CSU men’s rugby is looking bright.”

Collegian sports reporter Evan Grant can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @EGrantSports.