The Sonoma State Rugby Club is one of the most promising sports clubs on campus. The club was founded in March of 2011, and began competing in the Division III Northern California Rugby Football Union. Last year the club moved up and began to compete at the Division II level.
“The first game went very well. Our new guys played like veterans which made the game a lot more fluent,” said captain Jack McNamara. “Our team is looking better than expected. We are building off of last year’s success.”
The Seawolves had their first game this past Saturday, in which they took on the Sacramento State Hornets, a Division I club. This was the team’s first match up with a Division I school.
The game ended in a score of 25-5, with the Seawolves taking the victory. The Hornets were held to only one score throughout the whole game.
“The Seawolves look forward to our spring season and expect that big things are in store,” said sophomore Ryan Doyle.
The club was chartered in 2011 by McNamara, Patrick Maldonado, and two fellow Sonoma State students. The team began to compete at the Division III level of the Northern California Rugby Football Union, and was coached by both McNamara and Maldonado.
“I started playing in high school so when I came here I wanted to create a club,” said McNamara. “It’s important to me because I want to see it build with the years to come after I leave SSU.”
The club came in second place in their first year as a team, and last year they moved up to the Division II level of the Northern California Rugby Football Union, with the club doubling in size and becoming much more competitive.
Again the club came in second place, with two very successful seasons back to back. The team was lead by Coach Nas this past season.
“SSU Rugby was very open to letting me come out and play,” said junior Adrian Gould. “It’s a great way to have fun while getting into shape.”
Gould said his dad had played rugby for many years, and wanted to follow in his footsteps and continue the tradition of playing rugby.
With the lack of a football program at SSU, the rugby team is the closest thing to it, and receives a similar following on campus. It just so happens that rugby is known as a cross between soccer and football. Many students and fans show up to their games to cheer them on.
It is similar to football in that there is contact. Also players score by making a “try”, which is similar to touchdown, except you are awarded five points. “Tries” are followed by a two point conversion kick. Drop goals are worth three points, and are similar to a field goal in football.
For more information about the rugby team, or if you are interested in meeting some new people while exercising, come out to the Beaujolais fields on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-5 p.m.