The Civil War is upon us once again and as people know it’s always a bitter fight to the end. Not that Civil War, that hasn’t been fought for about 150 years (right?). No, we’re talking about the in-state battle of the Oregon State Beavers and the Oregon Ducks, known locally as the Civil War
This time, however, its neither football nor basketball, but for rugby. The Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference (NCRC) matchup features to be a phenomenal game between two great teams and has potential upset implications.
The Beavers have run the table and did it mostly with style. They beat their conference rival UBC earlier in the year in a close match 17-15, but have since cruised through their schedule. At this pace, they will be on their way to another league title and enter the playoff picture in stride.
No doubt Oregon State has a very balanced squad, but winger Nate Kimmel has been impressive all on his own. He started against Idaho a few weeks back with five scores and has kept his streak going since with eight scores in the last three games. Should he touch the ball down again, the current NCRC points leader will break EWU flanker Eric Populus’s single season record.
Nevertheless, rugby is a team sport and combining him with 14 others paints a good picture of why OSU is undefeated and looking forward to a great rivalry on a special night.
OSU is coming off a long road trip from Cheney, Wash. against that aforementioned EWU team, and preparing on a short week is never easy, especially for his seniors.
“The boys are looking forward to this game, especially on senior night,” OSU coach Anthony Lally said. “Preparing on a short week is no easy task, but the boys know what’s at stake and are looking forward to the matchup. Coach [Duffin] McShane is no slouch and will have has players ready on a very high skill and fitness level.”
The Oregon Ducks (1-3) have had rough season so far. They had to endure a long delay after their game against UBC got cancelled and tacked on another week before they opened against UW. The next week they topped Simon Fraser for their first win, but have since lost back-to-back games against WSU and CWU.
That is in the past though, and all the Ducks and coach McShane can think about is moving onto this weekend’s game.
“We definitely look forward to this game because of the bragging rights and pride that is behind it,” McShane said. “In terms of preparation, we will approach and prepare for it just like any other week.”
And in terms of the work that Oregon State has done this year, coach McShane is no stranger to what his neighbors down south have accomplished.
“Coach Lally knows how to coach and what to coach and gets his players thoroughly ready for every game,” McShane said. “The very best thing we can do is do our due diligence in our preparation and when the game starts make good decisions and set the tone for aggressiveness towards the try line.”
Kickoff is slated for 6:30 tomorrow night at Student Legacy Park in Corvallis, OR.