Please keep checking the
If it rains Saturday in Huntsville, the game will be cancelled. I will be updated on the conditions as we get closer to Saturday. I'll also post directions to the Sam Houston field Thursday evening.
Please keep checking the
Link to the actual article is http://www.utdallas.edu/news/2012/3/6-16291_Rugby-Team-Rises-From-Obscurity-to-Championship_article-wide.html
complete with pictures from the game.
Rugby Team Rises From Obscurity to Championship
The Team is Preparing for the PacWest Region Championship in Nebraska in April
Mar. 6, 2012
Only months ago, the rugby team at UT Dallas was virtually non-existent. Last fall, a group of about 40 “lads” showed up for practice, eager to learn the game.
During the warm Texas evenings, they learned to run, pass, ruck and maul. A greater interest from students and a new coach fed the momentum.
And somehow, only months later, they are state champions.
The team next travels to the PacWest Region Championship in Nebraska in mid-April to battle the host team from Wayne State University.
The rugby team is one of 24 club sports at UT Dallas.
“Those involved with Club Sports are competing purely for the love of the sport and are students first and foremost,” said Chris McAlpine, assistant director of recreational sports and adviser to all club sports at UT Dallas. “That’s what makes the rugby team’s season such a great story.”
In the beginning, a small group of students began meeting regularly, participating in scrimmage matches and encouraging others to join. Then, they approached a former Texas Rugby Union leader, Tony Wagner, to serve as their volunteer coach. They played hard under his direction and though they lost their first few matches in the fall, they finished their Texas Rugby Union league season undefeated after seven games.
Next was the Texas Rugby Union Collegiate Division III Championship.
Nathan Sohadaseni, a senior management information systems major in the Naveen Jindal School of Management, is president and captain of the team. He called their win streak “monumental” and said the entire team was nervous going into the match with San Antonio.
“So many of us wanted to live up to the story,” he said. “We were the underdogs and we needed to win. When it was over, it felt like a weight had been lifted. We had all the tools to win the game; we just had to play like it.”
They beat UT San Antonio, 15-10. The match was hard fought. The team was down 10-0, battled back to cut the lead to 10-8 at the half, then scored their second try of the match and converted it to take the lead 15-10. A try is a method of scoring worth five points where a player touches the ball down in the opponent’s goal area.
“When I started coaching at UT Dallas in the fall, I just wanted us to be competitive, so I’m ecstatic with where we are now. I’m riding on cloud nine with their accomplishments.” Tony Wagner, volunteer coach “UTSA threw all kinds of things at us, and my lads responded by playing their best rugby,” Coach Wagner said. “UTSA attacked us in our red zone the last six minutes, but we didn’t break. The lads showed tremendous heart.”
The PacWest Region Championship takes place over two separate matches April 14-15 in Wayne, Nebraska. If the UT Dallas team wins its first match on Saturday, they will play for the PacWest Region Championship on Sunday. If they win that round, they then travel to the national championships in Colorado.
Wagner said the regional matches will be tough, but his journey with the team so far has been good.
“When I started coaching at UT Dallas in the fall, I just wanted us to be competitive, so I’m ecstatic with where we are now. I’m riding on cloud nine with their accomplishments.”
The team president summed up his hopes for the competition. “I feel less pressure going into Nebraska,” Sohadaseni said. “I’m looking forward to the competition and to having fun. After that, we’ll try our best to win big.”
Media Contact: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, email@example.com
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, firstname.lastname@example.org
We'll be back to practicing this coming Wednesday and Friday, partly preparing for a good tune up match against the Rice University second side. There may be some of the Sam Houston St. reserves playing with Rice if they don't have enough, but that's ok, we need the match.
For those who weren't at the very first round robin tournament, we opened the tournament and our season against this same team and they beat us 22 to 7. That's all fine, we were and still are a young club and back then we were trying to find our identity. We now know who we are and while we're still learning our style of play, the one style we still have that was evident not only in that game but every game we after. What I'm talking about it heart, the lads don't give up. They'll play anyone, anywhere and play with sportmanship, grit and have fun playing.
Rice's first side is currently ranked number 2 in the Southwest Rugby Conference behind UT Austin, and their coach will have them well prepared for the match as well as Sam Houston St.
In Saturday's match, I plan on using everyone in different situations so that we can build a little more depth in our preparations for our trip to Nebraska next month.
Saturday's match is scheduled to kick off sometime between 2:30, but probably closer to 3:00pm, at least that's what I've been informed of. I will have directions posted in the Home Match Directions of this web site by Tuesday night.
This should be a good match for us and since there isn't any pressure for us, we should be loose and ready to ruck and roll in Huntsville. Hope to see you all out there Saturday.
It's been 5 days since we won the TRU Collegiate Division III Championship, the lads are still riding the high. I actually enjoyed it all day Sunday, but then I realized there's a lot to get done.
Nathan, Dominic, Chris McAlpine and myself have been doing a lot behind the scenes, looking at costs of travel, lodging and all it takes to get this team to Nebraska. Things are beginnging to fall into place at least planning wise, the great thing about it, is that we have some time to work with.
I did find out something about the lodging up in Wayne. Apparently, someone at Wayne St. blocked out enough rooms for 3 visiting clubs and will reserve those rooms as the clubs need them.
The bad news, there are only 3 hotels in Wayne and one is rugby headquarters. If are planning on attending, you might want to begin planning. I'm in the process of finding out who on the club is going, then I can determine how many rooms we'll need. After this coming weekend, the third qualifing club will be known and like us they'll probably have to find out how many rooms they'll need. March 25th the final piece to this competition will be known and I'm sure if there are rooms available, they will be released. Or a thought might be for you to piggy back on with our guys in reserving rooms, just a thought.
I don't know much about Wayne, but I am finding out that it's a small town. The rugby venue is huge, seats about 1500 people with a clubhouse, indoor bathrooms and lights,
For many of you who won't be able to make the trip, NSCRO will be broadcasting the match live via the internet. I don't have any details yet, but when I find out I'll post it. I listened and watched last years competition via the internet last year and NSCRO does a great job getting it out to everyone.
I just wanted to pass on this bit of information to you and as I get more, I'll pass that on to you as well. If any of you have any questions regarding the upcoming playoffs, feel free to contact me. In my next posting, I'll publish the match times.