By Zachary Kraus
The freezing cold did little to dampen the Hoggies’ spirits as they battled LeTourneau University this past weekend. Still ravenous for a win after last weekend’s game, they paid no heed to the blustering winds and damp conditions. They came out of the corner swinging with senior Charlie Turner scoring a try in the first 10 minutes. The intensity continued with a Zulu try (a.k.a, the first try of his career) from freshman Daniel “The Lesser” Simia, a week after his brother did the same.
Not to be outdone, LETU took advantage of some sloppy University of Dallas play and scored two in a row, taking the lead 14-10 during the second half. After some soul-searching and some substitutions, the Hoggies tightened up their game for the second half. Alec Thie scored a quick tap try to take the lead back, and Chris “Big” Simia scored to cement the lead and tally some bonus conference points.
Tensions were high, and frustration over consistent dirty play led junior Greg Bridges to throw a punch, resulting in a yellow card for him and time in the “Sin Bin.” Playing one man down, the Hoggies gave up one more try before the game was over, making the final score 20-19 in favor of the Hoggies. While everyone was excited about the win, there were mixed feelings about the quality of the game and how close the score was.
“Games like this are not good for my heart,” head coach Matt Jones said.
“I think we lost focus at times,” Chris Simia said. “We had a lot of bad passes, in which the weather was possibly a factor, and bad passes can be be contagious.”
In general, however, the players said they felt pretty good about the game. Thie was not concerned by how the team played.
“I’m not worried about our play because we don’t play like that,” he said. “It was cold, and a win’s a win.”
Chris Simia went on to talk about the excitement of his and his brother’s successes in the past few weeks.
“You know, I was very proud of my brother, but at the same time, I’ve played almost 10 times as many games as he has. That fact inspired me to score my try, absolutely,” he said. This game marks the Hoggies’ second cup win of the season, and the first one away from home. It was an important match for the team, bringing the Hoggies’ record to 2-2.
Next weekend the boys travel to Norman, Okla. to play a friendly match against Oklahoma University.
“I think our first strategy will be to not get crushed, and maybe put up some points,” Chris Simia said optimistically. “I think if we can do that, it’ll be a successful outing.”
The Hoggies are currently third in the Lone Star Collegiate Rugby Conference, behind powerhouse Angelo State and crosstown rivals Southern Methodist University.