By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Men’s rugby falls short before finish line, looks toward next season

The CWU men’s rugby team recently returned home after their loss to Brigham Young University in the second round of the playoffs on Saturday, April 13. Though the Wildcats lost, they boasted a 9-4 overall record and have begun their work to prepare for next season.

“[Our season] tells us right now, we are not good enough as a program and we have the resources to utilize, to become good enough,” Samson Dwyer, a senior center, said. “We just haven’t done that yet.” 

While the Wildcats did well during their season with a 6-3 record at home and a 3-1 record on the road, Dwyer cemented the idea that the team still had room to improve. The biggest factor for growth that Dwyer pointed out was being able to finish the job and be disciplined enough to put in the final 10% of effort to dominate their opponents. 

“I think something that we kind of struggled with this year was creating an environment that was game-like enough that we could step up to the big pressure,” Dwyer said. “And that really relied on everybody, not just the guys that were playing on [that] Saturday.”

Dwyer went on to say that one of the major priorities of the team, especially to head coach Todd Thornley, was emphasizing everyone’s individual importance. “We have had multiple times where freshmen stepped up for us big this year, and so we’re really building confidence throughout the year,” Dwyer said.

Thornley’s dedication to the team was a contributing factor to their success as he not only kept tabs on the workouts they were doing each week but he also had a plan for almost every game which helped the players prepare and recover during the preseason and regular season. 

“I think Todd [Thornley] has done a good job too, as well as putting emphasis on ‘everybody matters,’” Tiai Vavao, a senior flanker on the team, said. “He will tell us, we can reach out and everybody has a role.”

While the upperclassmen are a necessary boon to the team, the underclassmen in the crew are also an important addition. The future of Wildcat rugby rests on the freshman and sophomores of this season. 

“We’re always lacking … people in the front row. I don’t know why that tends to happen. We only had like six [people] this year,” Kye Jones, a senior scrum-half said. “But Quaid [Hunt] is one of them. Definitely our biggest player physically and mentally. He’s just built different.” 

Quaid Hunt is a sophomore player from Denver, Colorado and an arts and sciences major at CWU. He has become a valuable asset to the team at the prop position and an inspiration to many of his teammates.

“I’m really excited for Chris Grosse,” Dwyer said. “I think he has a lot of potential. He’s already pretty naturally athletic and he is super strong. So I am really excited for him and Quaid Hunt.” 

Christopher Grosse is a freshman lock this year on the team and has scored multiple times on some of the tougher opponents that the Wildcats have faced. He scored a try in the Wildcat’s victory over the West Trinity University Spartans (48-26) and scored the final try in the Wildcat’s victory over the Cal Poly University Mustangs (41-20). 

Despite being on the up-and-coming big names, the underclassmen aren’t the only ones to credit for their successful season. Oscar Treacy, a junior at the wing position, scored a hat trick, meaning he scored a try three times in a row, against the Western Trinity Spartans earlier this season. Dwyer this year also scored a total of three tries during their season during his time as captain.  

“This guy [Dwyer], I think he killed it this year,” Vavao said.  “I had [him] actually on my nomination for comeback player because last year he went through some stuff, a couple injuries. Then this year [he] became first captain and killed it.” 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Observer welcomes feedback and commentary on our stories. We moderate comments to ensure they are relevant and civil, but the content of each comment is the responsibility of its original author. We do not accept comments in languages other than English or which include personal attacks, unprotected speech, vulgarity, promotional material, or statements which are nonsensical or irrelevant to the article being commented upon. You may also consider submitting a letter to the editor or an opinion piece. Click on Contact Us for details.
All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *