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Rugby advances to National 7’s

Sarah Ruiz, Staff Reporter - November 28, 2012

Central Washington University’s intramural rugby team will be making another trip to the National 7’s tournament this season, which will be held in College Station, Texas.

After taking home wins in three major tournaments, the Wildcats have momentum on their side for the two-day tournament, which will be played Friday and Saturday.

The Wildcats finished second in the tournament last year, and the team is more than ready to make a deep run into the tournament again.

The Wildcats dominated in the NCRC 7’s Qualifier, a test the Wildcats needed to pass in order to advance to the national tournament. The Wildcats outscored their final two opponents 114-0, with the highlight of the qualifiers being their crushing victory over Western Washington in the finals.

“We started off [with a victory over] Oregon State, and then [won] every game we’ve played,” said sophomore Tanner Barnes. “We had to work around the air when we came here, but we’ve been getting better and better.”

Between regular practices and time in the gym, the team trains hard to be its best.

“We really just have to work on our principle to play,” said sophomore Shelby Williams.

“We’ve been going over [this] at practice and running our system and accuracy with passes and not missing tackles.”

The Wildcats will be competing against some of the best teams in the nation at College Station.

“Last year we took second,” Barnes said. “I’m excited to go back and play against a lot of good teams. It’s just a really fun tournament.”

Although the team has only six games under its belt on this season, they are hoping that their dedication is what will bring home the gold.

“We’ve all worked ridiculously hard to get where we are,” Williams said. “It would be great to be able to say we are the best rugby team in the nation and see all that hard work pay off.”

For the team, bonding with fellow teammates has helped make this season even more memorable. Barnes’ three roommates are also fellow rugby players, and he describes the team as a family who connects outside of practice regularly. By coming together, the team hopes to keep its performance tight by being in tune with one another.

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