Rugby season comes down to one match – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, The few, the proud, and the emotional

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This season will go down as the most successful one in Point Park rugby history, but the team’s postseason fate comes down to its last game against its most hated rival.

Despite only playing in four games, the team has put together a 3-3 record with one game remaining.

If you think the math doesn’t add up, it’s because it doesn’t. The team was involved in two forfeits this season. Point Park was forced to forfeit their second game of the season against defending Three Rivers Rugby Conference (3RRC) runner- up Franciscan University because of field insurance issues.

This past week, instead of hosting 3RRC Gold Division newcomer Gannon, the club enjoyed a forfeit win after injuries and scheduling conf licts prevented Gannon from playing.

Besides the forfeit win, Point Park also earned victories in its matches against Fairmont State and Geneva. Their three wins this season is a club record, topping last year’s record of 2-5 and the previous season’s record of 1-6.

One of last year’s wins came against Allegheny College, which is no longer in the 3RRC Gold Division. The other came against hated rival Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) on its home turf.

Gesling Stadium had more Point Park fans than CMU fans that night last September.

There were around a dozen alumni club members on the sidelines cheering them on. There was a small tailgate in Village Park hosted by Campus Activities Board (CAB). The vibe leading up to the match held minutes away from Point Park’s downtown campus was nothing short of electric, intense and focused.

CMU was 4-0 in the all-time series, but both teams were winless on the season entering the match. At the 7:11 p.m. kickoff, none of that mattered.

Neither team scored in the first half. Late in the second, scrum half Jakob Como picked up the ball out of a scrum and took the ball 45 yards down field to score the games first and only try of the game. Point Park earned its first win of the season and its first against its hated cross-town rival.

CMU captains told their team after the match that Point Park’s 5-0 win was lucky.

They have fought through the loss of key players due to injuries and graduation, but still have managed to put together the best season in club history. They’re not done yet.

Point Park travels to CMU for the regular season finale Wednesday at 9 a.m. Not the season finale – at least not yet.

Point Park is in a position to finish 4-3 and finish above .500 for the first time, but more importantly, finish in the top half of the division and make the 3RRC playoffs for the first time in club history Point Park once again defeated CMU in a friendly match last spring, but as many on the team will tell you, “nothing against CMU is ever friendly.”

If there is one thing for sure, this week’s match will be nothing close to friendly. With everything at stake for Point Park Rugby, it is the most important match in club history.

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