Western Washington University's men’s rugby team came back to tie in a 14-14 sevens match against the University of Montana Jesters on Saturday, Oct. 12, and failed to produce offense in a 97-5 loss in a 15s game.
The game began at 1 p.m. with a fast-paced sevens match. The Jesters scored two tries and two conversions early and led 14-0 at the half.
Western hung in there, stopping a few close attempts at their try-area, and came back early in the second half, scoring a quick try and conversion to make it 14-7. Near the end of the half a second try and conversion combo put the score to a tie before the sevens match ended.
The game of 15s began at 2 p.m. and was a quick show of Jesters offense, with Montana holding a 46-0 lead by halftime.
Western’s Rugby Director Paul Horne noted that the team began to improve its performance about an hour into the game.
“After 60 minutes of rugby we finally got a little better and started playing with some cohesiveness,” Horne said. “As opposed to the 60 minutes where all we did was play defense, and we played that very poorly.”
Western put their first points on the board near the end of the game, a try scored by freshman Robin Dittrich, who was praised by Horne as having a “very strong game.”
Horne now looks to have players build their skill sets in looking forward to future games.
"We will be working on improving our personal fitness, our individual fitness, and our team fitness,” Horne said.
The team next plays a Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference game of sevens on Oct. 19 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore.