Rugby ready for Baylor

The Sam Houston State Rugby Team scrimmaged against The Woodlands Division II men’s team in the annual Mike Mann Memorial Scholarship Game last weekend in The Woodlands.Rugby coach Johnny Smith said the game was in honor of a rugby alumni who died about five years ago.The Woodlands won 37-24 against SHSU. “The Woodlands is a Division II men’s team and we are a Division II Collegiate team, so it was a pretty good game,” Smith said.The rookies on the team played a good game and they were very aggressive, he said. “We were winning most of the game and they pulled it in the last couple of minutes and they managed to beat us,” said rugby president James Browder.The game was a mix of players with starters and rookies, but it will help the team prepare for the rest of the season, Smith said “Rookies Chris Ranly and Jared Bush had an outstanding game,” said Smith. “They made lots of tackles and lots of big tackles.”Aggressiveness is one thing that cannot be taught and the players are either aggressive or they are not, he said. “Last year we finished third in the nation and we lost in the national semi-finals, but we are looking to win it all this year,” Smith said. “We are going to go out and win a national championship.”The men’s rugby team has a lot of potential this year, Browder said. “A lot of our rookies are guys that we think are possibly just as good or better than the guys that we lost last year,” said Browder. “We are having a hard time replacing some of them, but it is all coming together.”Browder said the team did not come together last year until the spring, but they are getting an early start on things this year. The rugby team will play Baylor this weekend at 2 p.m. at Pritchett Field located on the corner of 17th Street and Avenue O.”We are always looking for athletic people who don’t mind contact,” Smith said. ” It is open to everyone and we have a great team.”Smith encourages everyone to come out and support the team. For more information contact Johnny Smith at 291-1135.” If they enjoy football, they will really love rugby,” said Smith. “We would love to have everyone out.”

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