I'll begin with the women since they were the first team to take the pitch Saturday. The UT Dallas Women's Rugby Club arrived in Austin with 10 players ready to challenge the day, but during warm ups Marie tweaked her back and was unable to play in the first match against Sam Houston St. But lucky for us UTSA came with 5 players, so we readily allowed them to play with us.
The match was played with a lot of spirit and pace, the more experienced Sam Houston St (SHSU). women showed that they would not be kept out of goal. The combined UT women actually showed more determination in the first half keeping SHSU down to only 2 Trys at the end of the first half.
The second half after making 4 substitutions so that everyone got a chance to play, it was all SHSU in the second half, scoring 5 Trys, but there were moments of UT brilliance from a number of girls. Alyssa a couple of times found a gap and took off only to be caught from the side by a speedy wing. Racheal and Vic found that they could take on the SHSU ladies as well as the guest players we had from UTSA (Haley and Makaila both showed flashes of brilliance).
Our 2nd match of the day was against a new club Angelo St. University (ASU), this match proved that if the field were level in experience our UT girls could take advantage of the situation. Playing tough defense against some very good runners, the combined UT girls played fantastic. Then when they got the ball they showed that they could attack with the best of them. In this match Marie got her back feeling pretty good and she took the field in the second half and that was all she needed. Marie ran in 2 Trys in this half and Rachael scored her first Try. The combined UT side won their first match of the young season.
The girls of ASU and combined UT side agreed to play one more match against each other so that they could have that many more games under their belts, but this time it wasn't going to be the combined UT girls to repeat with another victory. This time the ASU girls discovered that running hard and being in support meant a wider open field in which to run and run they did. They managed to score a few more Trys than the combined UT side, but on the bright side. Alyssa scored her first Try of the season and converted it and Kera (UTSA) ran in a Try of her own.
On the whole the women played very well and with more practice and games, they will become a much better club and team.
The women that played are Vic (prop), Hailey (UTSA - hooker), Marisa (UTSA - prop) Christina (prop), Josey (lock), Laura (UTSA - lock), Lorraine (lock), Mel (lock, wing), Alyssa (scrumhalf), Rachael (flyhalf), Judit (inside center), Makaila (UTSA - outside center), Kera (UTSA - outside center), Marie (wing), Shiva (wing)
The Men took the field against UTSA and for a number of them it was their first time playing against another colored jersey. UTSA came out hard and wanted to show UTD up, but with the hard working forwards lead by Maika, Daniel, Eric and Ryan winning all kinds of rucks. UT Dallas was able to win the first match of their tournament. Trys scored by Michael and Brian, then Brian converted his try to seal the win.
The men's second match of the day was against Baylor, a much bigger side for the guys, but they did play well against Baylor. Their defense was at times spot on, especially when the team needed them to be tight, they were. But it was in open field that allowed Baylor to score points against inexperienced and undersized wings. Something we will work on. The lone Try was scored by first year player Chad - good job son.
The 3rd match of the day was against St. Edward's, while the weather was better for us than the last time we faced St. Edward's. This time it was a solid running attack from St. Edward's that provided a lop sided score (too much to not enough). But this was something the lads could take home, by working hard in practice and eliminate mental errors, we can compete with anyone. Time is on our side, but that time is quickly getting smaller and smaller.
This coming weekend both the men and women kick off their league play. The UT Dallas Women travel to Ft. Worth to play TCU at Gateway Park. Time is still to be determined, TCU has yet to send me that info, but when I get it I will post it.
TCU has always had difficulty recruiting and if they have only 7 players, UT Dallas will give them 3 or more players to get as many girls playing as possible. This is a luxury that we have at UT Dallas, we want as many girls getting as much experience as possible, so when we need them, they'll be ready to go.
TCU may have trouble recruiting but the players they do have are quick and knowledgeable, so it will be up to us to have the girls prepared to attack, defend, support and play wide open rugby.
The guys travel to Longview to play Letourneau, in a somewhat misunderstanding. The kick off will be played under the lights of Letourneau University at 7:00pm. Letourneau has been up and down the past couple of seasons, but their coaches will have them prepared to take the field and they will be gunning for the lads of UT Dallas. They like many of the clubs in the Lonestar Conference want to be the one to hand UT Dallas their first league loss, but that won't happen if the guys play within themselves and play as a unit.
I will be posting directions to both the girls and guys matches along with kick off times.