Men’s rugby eliminated in D1A playoffs

Rachel Greve, Staff Reporter

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CWU Men’s Rugby ended their season this past weekend with an 87-7 loss to Life University in the D1A Rugby Playoffs in Marietta, Georgia on April 14.

“Tough outing to end our season,” head coach Todd Thornley said in a press release.

The Wildcats were led by seniors Dominic Lindstrom, Ian Wright and Scott Dean.

Dean, a starting fly half for the Wildcats and All-American Honorable Mention in 2017, has been on the team for five years, and has been through many ups and downs with the team.

Even with those ups and downs, the team “peaked at the right time,” Dean said before the match against Life in reference to this season.

Before the match Dean admitted, “Life has one of the best defenses.”

“I would say they are the best in the country. Week by week, they are the best,” Dean said.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, this held true.

There were also many younger players who have proved themselves over the season and one of these players is junior center Cole Zarcone.

Zarcone, who played as a linebacker on the CWU Football team his freshman year, joined the rugby team in 2016.

“It [wasn’t] going to be easy but that is the best part about sports, the ability to take down a really good team,” Zarcone said. “We have a younger team than we did last year, but the seniors have also made it a point to provide great leadership when they can.

“I think that they came in as boys at 18 years old and [they] have really shown their full potential and commitment,” Thornley said.

Commitment is what this team has in abundance and is showing it this year after losing so much senior experience.

“To be playing how they’re playing is really exciting and a true testament to their commitment and dedication to this program, especially for how young they are and after losing the experience from last year,” Thornley said about the team from last year to this year.

A first round loss is not what the Wildcats wanted, especially after going to the quarterfinals last year in their loss to Navy in extra time.

“We were humbled in every facet of the game, so full credit to Life and their program. They will be tough to beat through the future rounds,” Thornley told Wildcatsports.com.

Looking ahead for the Wildcats, they will need to lean on younger players like sophomore loose forward Alex Mackenzie, junior flanker Brian Nault, and sophomore 2nd row Devan Marshall, who Thornley talked about standing out to him throughout this season.

Marshall and Nault were both selected in 2017 to be on the USA U20 roster for the AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans’ World Rugby U20 Trophy qualifier series.

 

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Men’s rugby eliminated in D1A playoffs