Rugby teams back in the groove


Richard Rhoden

Kayla Lavalais handles the ball duing a game against Kansas State last semester during Wayne State’s National Championship run.

Malual Lam, Staff Writer

The Wildcats men’s rugby team swept the competition until losing 28-21 on Saturday to the Sioux City Swine in the championship game of a tournament at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D.

During the seven-team tournament, the Wildcats had victories over USD, St. Cloud State, South Dakota State and Western Iowa Tech to advance to the final game.

In the final game, the Wildcats immediately fell behind 14-0 but made a comeback with a pair of touchdowns by John Derocha and Tanner Jackson to tie the game. The Swine then scored to take the lead by one touchdown.

With three minutes left in the game, the Wildcats again tied with a touchdown by Quinn Rochford. In the closing minute, the scrum-half/quarterback for the Sioux City Swine, Boau Boritza, scampered around the right sideline for a 45-yard score to seal the game 28-21 for the Swine.

“Unfortunately, our worst game of the day was in the final. We got out of our offensive rhythm and we ended up playing their game and not ours,” head coach Darrin Barner said.

The number-one team in the nation, the Wildcats women’s rugby team, kept its ranking with a 76-0 shutout victory over Chadron State.

The game was played Sunday in Valentine, Neb., as part of a fundraiser for Valentine High School.. The money raised will be used to purchase new basketball rims and backboards.

Even though it was a chilly blustery day, the Wildcats received great feedback from the school and community of Valentine, who were satisfied with the game and entertainment. The Valentine athletic department hopes to welcome the Wildcats back next year.

Many Wildcat parents from western Nebraska were in attendance to cheer the Wildcats on as well.

The starting lineup for the women Wildcats featured 10 first-year players. Barner and the upperclassmen were thrilled with the performance that the new players gave in the first game of the spring season.

“We were very satisfied scoring that many points because the game was played on a football field, which is 24 yards narrower than a regulation rugby field,” Barner said.

The Wildcats’ home opener, the 90-team Battle on the Nebraska Prairie tournament, will be on April 5 and 6.