The Western Washington University men’s rugby club won one of their three games during the 35th annual Can-Am 7s Tournament on July 13.
As games kicked off at 9:20 a.m., the Vikings fell to Eastside Rugby Football Club (RFC) from Bellevue, Wash. and then to Old Puget Sound Beach from Seattle at noon. After recovering from the double blow, the men were able to shut out the University of Idaho Vandals at a 2 p.m. match.
“We were kind of rusty. I hadn’t played in about three and a half weeks,” lock Jon Kaimmer said. “We just forgot how to play. But in the third game we clicked back together.”
The tournament, hosted by Chuckanut Bay Rugby, brought together 26 teams from Canada, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho. The tournament was played in rugby sevens, a speedy alternative where seven players per team play two seven-minute halves, as opposed to a typical 80-minute match that includes fifteen players.
The Vikings partook in another rugby 7s tournament last fall and applied the same strategies used during those matches for Saturday’s tournament.
“In the third game we stuck with the strategy to stretch our defense, advance player to player and wait for them to make errors to open up scoring opportunities,” hooker Winston Chen said. “There was more team chemistry in how we were playing to each other’s playing styles and rhythms.”
The tournament was the team’s first return to the field after a 38-22 loss to Lindenwood University in the Final Four in Bowling Green, Ohio on May 11.
The team is preparing to cross the Canadian border for a tournament on August 3 and another on August 10.