Wayne, America: Rugby capital USA

Third-largest rugby tournament in the country held within the friendly confines of Wayne last weekend

Richard Rhoden and Tess Riecke
Photos from the rugby tournament held in Wayne last weekend. Plenty of states were represented in Wayne this weekend, including Texas, Wisconsin and Maryland as well as Canada.

Courtney Upah and Michael Tremayne, Staff Writers

By Courtney Upah

The Wayne State rugby club hosted the third largest rugby tournament in the U.S. Saturday and Sunday, often called March Mayhem.

On Saturday, the Wildcats were ready at 6:30, setting up the field. Despite the frozen bleachers and frosted ground, the competition was heated, and both the women’s and men’s teams were ready to play their games at 8:15 a.m.

Both teams played the majority of their games on Saturday with temperatures starting out low in the 20 degree range and only rising into the 40 degree area.

The fans, however, didn’t seem to mind the cold. Hundreds of rugby fans arrived at the several fields that were used, keeping warm with jackets or blankets on the sidelines.

“This tournament is just a great rugby environment to be around. It really was a great weekend and a lot of fun,” sophomore Katie Kirkpatrick said.

Players and fans traveled from all over the U.S. to come to Wayne this weekend–from Canada to Texas and everywhere in between.

WSC made sure to play tough, often playing multiple games in a row, but they always gave it their all.

“I feel that, overall, the girls played hard this weekend. It was a learning experience for a lot of our rookies, as this is the first time some of them have played in a 7s game,” Kirkpatrick said.

In rugby, there are two types of games: 7’s and 15’s. 7’s have seven players on a team, and the games take about 14 minutes. This March Mayhem Tournament had both 7’s and 15’s, when 15 players are against 15 players. This normally takes 40 minutes to play.

After all of the games were done, the WSC rugby team then stayed to clean up trash before having a team meeting along with further team gatherings planned that night.

Sunday was an easier day for the Wildcats, with the girls having only one game to play and the boys having no games.

However, once again the weather would not cooperate, with wind sometimes getting between 30 and 40 mph. If the players tried throwing the rugby ball towards the wind, it would often end up going the other way.

After the last game on Sunday was finished, the Wildcats then cleaned up the field, resuming practice this week.


By Michael Tremayne

This past weekend was jam packed with sweat, tears, and definitely blood.

The country’s third largest rugby tournament took place in Wayne for the annual March Mayhem. This year’s event had over 90 teams from 17 states, and even Canada showed up to add more battle scars to their collection.

The Wayne State men’s team ended up 7-2 in the two days of play. It didn’t come easy, though.

“We had a lot of injuries from the previous week’s games, so we weren’t full strength, but that didn’t stop us from going out and working our tail off. We always have to be ready because injuries are inevitable and we’re deep enough to still get the job done,” Austin Peatrowsky said.

Peatrowsky, a sophomore from West Point, is a key utility man for the ‘Cats. The six-footer got recruited as a freshman. His instincts as a defensive end for his high school football team have transferred well to the padless game of rugby.

“It took a while for me to change my tackling tactics after playing football since I was 12, but after I got that down, it got progressively easier,” Peatrowsky said. “If you enjoy football, then I see no reason why you won’t fall for rugby. The part that big guys like me love the most is we can actually get the chance to score.”

He did a lot of that, scoring five tries for a total 25 points.

“I love to score, who doesn’t? I would rather get wins, though. This is a team sport, one of the most team-oriented sports out there. I helped the team win and that’s all it comes down to.”

Peatrowsky is ready to play again already.

“We condition all year round for March. I just want to keep playing. Winning. A little scoring would be nice, too.”