Losing a game 64-12 isn’t exactly a confidence boost, is it?
Well if you’re on the Penn State University men’s rugby team, you might take something out of such a hiding. It was a loss, by the way, to BYU, a team that regularly beats very good rugby teams by much more massive scores. They took Central Washington apart 76-7 just a couple of weeks before, so scoring two tries against the Cougars, in your first game since winter rolled in, after a long flight to Las Vegas, could be something to hang your hat on.
“Yeah we left a couple more tries out on the field, too,” said PSU Director of Rugby Don Ferrell. “BYU is an excellent team, and this was our first game of the year. So, yes, there are some things to take out of it. That weekend was what we were looking for in terms of competition, and I was pleased because the guys competed all the way through.”
PSU also notched a win over Arizona, and their B sides got work in, too. Now the Lions look to face Old Blue in a preseason friendly for both the D1-A college team and the Super League club. Penn State will likely be without star flanker Kevin Kimble, who was injured and didn’t play in Vegas, either. However, Kimble is expected to be back for the regular season. He and scrumhalf Chris Saint are expected also to bring an injection of leadership in what is a very difficult Rugby East conference.
“We love playing in Rugby East,” said Ferrell. “There is a lot of parity, which means any team can win on any weekend. That pushes us. Every team has to push itself to do well. So the players learn that mental aspect of the game – you have to be dialed in to be on top.”