One of the toughest things to endure in sports is the rebuilding process. It happens when seasoned players leave the program and young inexperienced players fill their spots. When this happens, coaches and players alike know wins will be scarce.
When the University of Washington faced off against the University of Oregon on Saturday, the game wasn’t about winning the Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference, both teams are out of the running, but it was about rebuilding and showing progress.
Both teams fielded a lot of young players, and penalties and missed opportunities made it nearly impossible for either team to take control. At halftime, the scoreboard favored Oregon 5-0; it was anyone’s game.
“Our team is very young, so I wanted to simplify our game plan,” Oregon coach Duffin McShane said. “I wanted to put an emphasis on our guys moving the ball forward and keeping the defense on their heels.”
The strategy seemed to work as the Ducks looked different in the second half by taking advantage of mistakes and moving the ball forward efficiently. From there, Oregon put up four more tries and added a drop kick to secure their first win of the year, 33-10.
It was all about executing the little things and finishing plays for the Huskies. However, when you’re sporting a squad with limited experience, the little things turn into monumental jumps. It takes patience from the coaches and especially the players to learn and make the necessary adjustments to improve.
“We just have a really young squad this year,” UW assistant/forwards coach Joe Rissoni said. “The important thing is to stress that the only direction, from here, is up.”
The Huskies will take on Simon Fraser next week to get a shot at their first win. The Ducks will make a long drive to the Palouse to take on the Washington State Cougars.
Tries: DeLisle, Ka'ae, Watson, Pierecchi, Blinderman, Folk
Tries: Benedict 2