Rugby prepares for scrum in Vegas
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The CWU men’s rugby team headed out to Las Vegas on February 28 for the Las Vegas Invitational. This will be an important tournament for them because of the many games in a short timespan.
Junior scrum-half Simi Ratukalou is excited about this tournament and feels very confident with his team representing CWU in Vegas.
“I wouldn’t want to be on that field with anyone body else besides these group of guys,” Ratukalou said.
Ratukalou mentions how he is not nervous about the
“We have been in this situation a couple times. We will just have to take one day at a time and trust the process,” he said.
He was born and
raised in the Fijian Islands where he fostered a passion for rugby, in part because his stepdad was a
“After my first rugby game, I fell in love with the sport. Not that is a rough and violent sport, but there is much more to it. It made a man out of me at a very young age and it is such a humbling game,” Ratukalou said.
He is mentally and physically ready for whatever happens at this tournament.
“There will be a lot of good competition out there for us. We have been preparing very well even with our current conditions of practicing indoors. We will play one game at a time and treat every game like it’s the cup final,” Ratukalou said.
Much like Ratukalou, his fellow teammate, senior hooker Vili Toluta’u has the same motives and ambition.
Toluta’u has been playing rugby for 12 years. His older brother Samuela played rugby all over, so he figured he would tag along and see why his entire family loved the sport.
Toluta’u is pumped at the same time for this upcoming tournament.
“I know the brothers [rugby guy] are feeling the same way as me. It’s been awhile since we played sevens so I know our speedsters like Cam Marek and Dominic Lindstrom, and many other boys can’t wait to show off their speed,” Toluta’u said.
This tournament will put the team to the test.
“I am nervous, yet ready to take on the challenges. We haven’t been playing sevens for quite some time now but we are up for the challenge. The weather in Ellensburg isn’t on our side right now, so we really must overcome adversity and use our spare time in Vegas to get out on the pitch and getting our structure for sevens,” Toluta’u said.
The goal for this tournament is to win because it is a qualifier for a nationally televised tournament called the Collegiate Rugby Championship, which would be quite an accomplishment for the team.