Men’s rugby looking to break no-win spell

With the 2019 rugby season right around the corner, the Seawolves men’s team are looking to get back into the swing of things and they are using the fall semester to do just that. 

The sport of Rugby was introduced to Sonoma State in March of 2011 when the Sonoma State University Men's Rugby Club was founded. They currently compete in the National Small College Rugby Organization. Within the NSCRO, the Seawolves are a member of the Northern California CRC Division.

They compete against schools such as University of San Francisco, California State University Monterey Bay, Humboldt State University, Santa Rosa Junior College and the University of Pacific. 

The sport requires a combination of many skills such as strength and speed, and involve skill-sets similar to soccer and football. A rugby match is eighty minutes long with a halftime at the forty minute mark. Each team has fifteen athletes on the field at all times. 

The ball can only be passed legally sideways or backwards and the only way the ball can move forward is by running with it or kicking it forward. For a team to score a try, the rugby version of a touchdown, a player must physically touch the ball to the ground within the try-zone. A try is five points and the kick after adds an additional two points if successful.

Last season, the Seawolfs were plagued with injury and did not win a game. The injuries forced many new players to step into roles that were unfamiliar. With no wins, the team focused on the positive aspects that were taken from last season. 

Jonathan Torres, president of the rugby team, gave insight on the season when saying, “What we took from last year was all the bonds we made, and the experience we got from the minutes we played together.”

The team practices five days a week. These practices take place on the Beaujolais fields. The girls team practices with the team as well, helping both clubs improve.

 During the off-season the team holds morning runs and weight room sessions as well as spending time on the field from 3-5pm practicing their skills. The team will also be competing in preseason scrimmages. On October 20 the team will face California State University, Chico. They are also hosting a tournament on campus on November 18. These events will be a good test of how they match up against their future opponents.

This new season presents another opportunity for the Seawolves to grow as a team and get better. With the new season arriving soon, the team has an opportunity to fulfill some goals.

“Some goals for this season would definitely be to win some games and even take home a championship.” said Torres. 

With all of the hard off-season work they have been putting in, this goal is not out of reach. The team recently had two players, Jonathan Torres and Josiah Butler, be selected for the Pacific Coast Grizzlies all-star team. With the help of these two Seawolf players, the team ended up winning the all-star championship in Texas this past summer. Not only was this a tremendous experience for the two athletes, but it is also seen as an experience that can benefit the Sonoma team as a whole.

“So with this knowledge, we gained from playing at a high all-star level, we took back to the team to help our players learn and grow.” Torres said.

The team plans to achieve their goals by sticking together and making smart decisions as a group. President Jonathan Torres makes this clear when he explains,

“Some keys to success would be thinking outside the box when it comes to what you could do on the field in terms of plays and situational calls and decisions, essentially just boosting more rugby IQ.”

The team welcomes all new members and would love to talk to any interested athletes. To get in contact with the club come out to any practice and talk to the players.

To watch the rugby team in action this year, go to the Beaujolais fields near the baseball diamond and cheer on the Seawolves.