Rugby heads to Canada undefeated
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The men’s rugby team is undefeated at 5-0 and headed to Abbotsford, B.C. to play Abbotsford Rugby Football Club.
Head coach Todd Thornley likes the way the Wildcats have played early on.
“We’re sticking to our stuff, and doing things the right way. We seem to be making improvements every week,” Thornley said.
There are a few different factors that have helped the Wildcats get off to this fast start.
“Leadership, we got a good group of leaders. Three captains, who are really sort of leading the way and buying into how I want things to sort of be run,” Thornley said. “We’ve just come together really really, well as a team, really, really quickly.”
The rugby teams from Canada have played more games so they present different challenges.
“They’ll be experienced, they’ll be physical and they’ll put us under some good pressure, which will allow us another opportunity to sort of grow and get better as a team.” Thornley said about Abbotsford RFC.
Last year they were one conversion away from reaching the Varsity Cup final, scoring is a big part of the game.
Senior fly-half Scott Dean has added four conversions. He has managed to help the scoring load.
“Super important,” Dean said. “Anytime we can get points on the board, that’s what we’re trying to do.”
They started off against the Vancouver Rowing Club, winning 35-21 and Lindenwood-Belleville from Illinois, winning 45-12.
Then travelled to Missouri to take on Lindenwood where they came out with a 21-3 win, and faced Valley RFC this past week where they won 50-10.
Going into the Abbotsford game, a big focus is to build on what they have started.
“We’re just trying to get better,” Dean said. “The Canadians play a lot, and they’re really skill full, so it would be a good test for us again.”
Larry Peneueta senior hooker, leads the team with five tries.
Peneueta wants to play tough every game, but how the team does is bigger than any individual accomplishment.
“Each game I just try to play my hardest,” Peneueta said. “Scoring, I don’t even think about scoring really. I just think about the team, and what I can do.”
Peneueta feeds off of the guys around him, and he does not think about the points, those will come with the flow of the game.
“If I see [an] opportunity to score, I’m going to score,” Peneueta said. “Usually I’m trying my best to pass the ball around, and look for opportunities for my other teammates.”
Peneueta thinks this week is important because they are playing a quality opponent that can help them get better.
“Last game, even though we got a win, as a team we didn’t play very good, we didn’t play our structure,” Peneueta said. “This week, we have time to fix those errors. We’ll see if we improve when we play this team that’s very good.”