Hoggies roughed up by SFA

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Nick Carabello
Contributing Writer

The University of Dallas Rugby team was beaten last Saturday by the Stephen F. Austin (SFA) State University Rugby team, 55-0.

The game began well enough for the Groundhogs who spent the majority of the first half on the opposing team’s side of the pitch. UD came close to scoring several times but was unable to push the ball past their opponents, who managed to reverse the charge and carry the first try on a breakaway run. Off balance, the Groundhogs fiercely scrambled to match their opponent’s pace but were unable, and SFA dominated the first half. The Hoggies failed to gain the ground lost and SFA punished them for it, putting up several more tries in quick succession.

When the second half began, the Groundhogs hit the field with renewed vigor and managed to hold SFA in and around midfield for much of the game. Again, the visiting team managed to break away from the UD defense and maintain possession of the ball consistently for the rest of the game. This was the first defeat this year’s rugby team suffered from an outside club and may not be the last.

The largest problem that beset the Groundhogs was an ineffective defense. SFA dominated rucks, giving them frequent possession of the ball while they were also able to break most of UD’s tackles. UD players frequently tackled high, aiming for the chest or gut, and, since the SFA players were bigger, they could absorb three, sometimes four hits from the Groundhogs and still continue on their way.

All in all, this was not a good game for the Groundhogs. They lacked the normal ability that the Groundhogs have usually brought to the pitch, and simply did not reflect the talent that is present in this year’s team.

Whatever ails the Hoggies must be addressed and done so quickly because next weekend they are traveling away to play against the Dallas Reds, a local club with many players who are old veterans of the game. The Groundhogs have an opportunity to put themselves back on a winning streak, and they ought to seize it with fervor. How soundly they beat the Dallas Reds will probably indicate how they do in their rematch against SFA in two weeks time.

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