By Zachary Kraus
The past few weeks have shown an interesting start to the season for the University of Dallas Rugby Football Club. The team’s first cup match ended in a disappointing loss at the University of Texas at Dallas, while the following weekend demonstrated an intense, testosterone-fueled, bone-shattering victory over Midwestern State University. Then the Hoggies took to the road for a bus ride of nearly five hours to scenic San Angelo, Texas to take on Angelo State University.
Despite arriving a meager thirty minutes before kickoff, Hoggie spirits remained high. The Hoggies kicked off, while ASU was the first to put points on the board. By halftime, ASU had managed to score three more tries, with the Hoggies unable to put the ball in the goal once. At the start of the second half, it appeared that the trend was going to continue, and ASU scored almost instantly. It was here that the dynamic shifted, however. It appeared that the pancakes the team had feasted upon before the game finally kicked in, giving the Hoggies the boost they needed to make what was nearly the greatest comeback in Texas rugby history.
The first try was punched in after a hard fight by junior Chris “Monkey” Simia, his first of the season and his career. Despite heckling from some particularly rude fans of the opposing team, this was followed by a breakaway try from the fastest kid in Texas, freshman Liam “Chickenlegs” Mahoney. After a series of failed attempts, junior Gregory “Keg” Bridges managed to get his own piece of the action. This was followed by a monstrous tag-team effort starring seniors Kevin “Flowers” Flannery and Alec Thie, “the Ginger Giant,” putting the Hoggies within seven points of their opponents.
As the team readied to receive the kickoff, the referee unexpectedly blew three whistles, signaling the end of regulation time. The final score was ASU with 31 points and UD with 24, bringing UD’s record to 1-2. Despite the disparity in points, the weekend was far from a complete loss, as the Hoggies managed to snatch two conference points. According to Lonestar Conference rules, four points are awarded for a win, one point is awarded for scoring four or more tries and one point is awarded to the losing team if the score is kept within ten points.
After the game, Mahoney discussed his first try and his view of the team’s future.
“At first, it didn’t seem like we had any momentum,” he said. “But in the second half we really brought it together as a team, and it was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had playing sports. Considering that was the No. 1 team and that we went toe-to-toe with them and definitely would have beaten them, had we had more time. I’m very excited for the rest of the season. The long bus ride played a factor, especially for the beginning of the game. We didn’t really have time to warm up so we had to warm up during the game.”
When asked about the heckling from the crowd, he responded, “Well, when I was on the pitch, there were some fans and I’m assuming they saw my legs and they were like ‘Hey Chickenlegs very nice’, probably due to my skinny legs. After my try though, they were pretty silent.” Bridges declined to comment on his try because he did not want to take solecredit for the hard work his team put in this weekend. The Hoggies are currently third in the conference.