Western’s men’s rugby team made history last week when they made Top 25 National Rugby Poll. Western made the poll last fall with its sevens team, but this is the first time the 15s have been nationally ranked.
The A-team showed how they earned that accolade Saturday, March 9 when they dominated Boise State University 94-7.
The team’s next game takes place Saturday, March 16 at Western against Eastern Washington University.
Paul Horne, Western’s director of rugby, explained why the team is consistently delivering blowout victories against their league competition.
“Our players are better prepared, and they work harder,” he said. “They make more of a commitment.”
The team scored 15 tries throughout the game thanks to great team effort. Screaming rugby fans gathered on the sidelines, some carting folding chairs and coolers to enjoy the sun, ideal rugby weather for both players and spectators.
The best player on the field was senior captain Matt Jensen, who scored five times, Horne said. Jensen was invited to Camp All-American this year, and demonstrated why on the field with his reliable offense.
Sophomore Nick Solimano gave a sterling performance for kicking, making 11 for 15 kicks over the course of the game. Sophomore Gio Trujilo scored three tries and showed strong wing performance. Senior Kevin Kinloch also scored twice and played a solid game, Horne said.
One of the A-team’s biggest strengths throughout the game was their unfailing teamwork. Effective passing and on-field communication helped lead them to a landslide victory.
“Rugby is an unselfish game when played properly,” Horne said.
The sevens team finished 14th overall at nationals in 2012, and the 15s are dominating the Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference. The 15s are currently 5-0 and earning their recent recognition.
“It’s flattering, and it’s gratifying to have people take notice,” Horne said.