Rugby Bits & Bites

A couple of articles worth checking out …

Chico State travels to Penn State for the Sweet 16 this weekend. The Wildcats believe they’ll be meeting Penn State on Sunday …

• A men’s rugby player in North Wales broke his neck, but thanks to an EMT-experienced opponent, he’s going to be okay. Scary story to share, but a reminder that proper and safe tackling can prevent injuries like these too. He tackled head first.

• A Letter to the Editor of the Purdue student newspaper in support of the Purdue men’s rugby team there. Just thought it was cool.

• The Mary Washington Women’s Rugby team is traveling to Florida this weekend for the D-II Sweet 16s …

Rugby team advances
The Mary Washington women’s rugby team travels to Sanford, Fla., this weekend needing two more victories to qualify for Division II national title game (May 6 at Stanford, Calif.).

The Eagles earned their shot by beating St. Mary’s College (24-0) and University of Maryland (22-19, OT) to win the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union’s title earlier this month.

UMW opposes Northeastern University in Saturday’s quarterfinal round with the winner coming back to play either Denison or California-Santa Cruz on Sunday.

In the other two quarterfinal games, Plymouth State takes on Claremont Colleges and Georgia tackles Maryland.

One of the team’s standouts is junior scrum half Erin Ridout (Colonial Forge), who earned a spot on the Virginia Rugby all-star team for the second year in a row last fall.

“After 10 years of playing soccer, I thought I needed a break from that sport,” Ridout admitted. “The only reason I tried out is [men’s coach Bill Lucas] always says the only way to get better at rugby is to play at every opportunity. It led me to play 7s rugby the past two summers with the NOVA women’s team.”

• The Fiji National Women’s Rugby Team earned its first-ever international victory. Fijiana beat Tonga 52-5 in the Tri-Nations Tournament.

“Obviously we’re really happy to get the first test victory under our belt, and scoring ten tries away from home shows our potential,” said an elated Fijiana Team Manager, Martina Rounds. “It’s a wonderful start for women’s rugby in Fiji considering that we really only narrowly lost to Samoa on Saturday in our first ever test, and Samoa of course are a vastly more experienced side than us.”

Yeah Fiji! And remember Samoa is heading to the Women’s World Cup in September too.

• In Wisconsin Rugby news, one of our former men’s team players, Matt, is helping coach UW-Whitewater this year and the team’s doing pretty well.

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