Western men’s rugby ended its season with a championship title in a game against Eastern Washington University on Saturday, April 13 with a 38-14 victory. The Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference championship game gave the team a perfect 8-0 record on the season.
“No one else in the league works as hard as us,” Head Coach Paul Horne said. “The coaching staff is very proud of the boys, and I’m sure they’re going to enjoy their victory,” he said.
In a practice two days before the game, the team lost their forward captain, Robert Doenish, to a high ankle sprain injury.
“We missed him dearly. He is a very important part of our lineup package and our forward package. The people who came in and played for him did a good job,” Horne said.
Eastern was first to score, but the Vikings quickly pulled away.
“We usually don’t get scored on first. But we knew we were a strong team and we could break through it so we just keep playing the game we know how to play and got the win,” player Nathan Muir said.
Quinton Willms converted four kicks during the game; the first two resulted in a half-time score of 14-7.
“Right away in the second half we got two scores, and kind of pulled away from there,” player Matthew Tiscornia said.
It was the team’s level of fitness that seemed to take control the rest of the game.
“Our skills didn’t break down because we were more fit than them, I thought,” said Muir.
The Vikings scored three tries in the second half.
“The men’s superior fitness really took over in the second half and put pressure on a much bigger Eastern Washington team,” Horne said.
With the victory, the team has been invited to play in the Sweet Sixteen of the national playoffs in Austin, Texas. The national playoffs will begin April 27.