Point Park Globe

Rugby drops rivalry game

Written By Gracey Evans, Photo Editor

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The Point Park Rugby Club’s biggest game of the season and the biggest rivalry of the season ended in in a 55-0 loss to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) on Saturday.

The rivalry between Point Park and CMU goes back to 2010 when Point Park was interested in starting up a rugby club but only had eight to ten players. They connected with CMU as their brother club.

The USA Rugby bylaws allow teams to have a brother club. Point Park players went to all of CMU’s games available as substitutes.

“Well, it turns out CMU didn’t like that idea,” postgrad hooker Kyle Waldron said. “After a while of going to their practices, they would start telling the Bison ‘Hey, meet in Oakland on Tuesday at this time,’ and CMU wouldn’t be there because they wanted their own practice.”

One day, the Bison drew 15 players to their practice. CMU’s coach decided to play a scrimmage between Point Park’s 15 players and CMU’s 15 players.

According to Waldron, CMU dominated Point Park and for most of the players, it was their first-ever scrimmage.

“Their coach and their team pretty much just said ‘You know, you guys are a really bad rugby team,’ and essentially ran us off the field,” Waldron said.

Even as a newer member of the team, junior inside center Noah Khorey understands how much this rivalry means to his team and its alumni.

“People come back specifically for this game and that’s how much it means to the guys that are well past their rugby playing days,” Khorey said. “That’s inspiring too. It gives you a window into how much it really means to them.”

The last time Point Park was scheduled to play CMU was last fall. When the team wanted to match up last spring, according to Khorey, CMU didn’t email Point Park back and just took its win.

“We’re literally the most opposite of schools you could probably find. It’s kinda like the battle for Pittsburgh in terms of rugby,” said junior co-captain Steven Reed.

According to senior co-captain Zach Brown, both sides raise their bars for the rivalry matches.

Each team is also worn down at the end of each game after giving their all for 80 minutes.

“Winston Churchill said that ‘Rugby is a hooligans game played by gentleman.’ That [wasn’t] the case on Saturday,” Waldron said. “ It’s never a friendly match with CMU.”

Point Park tested a new offense Saturday against CMU. The team only worked on it for a couple practices. Coach Matt Rosemeyer said the new offense will need more practice until it becomes second nature.

As the team’s new coach, Rosemeyer also saw some problems in technique with both the offense and defense that he said will need to be addressed quickly.

All players took the field at some point during the game, whether it was for a half or the full game.

Though Point Park made several drives throughout the game, they could not get a single try against CMU.

Rosemeyer said that before halftime, Point Park kept kicking the ball away or would run out of bounds.

Juan Manuel Bianchi, junior outside center, was given a yellow card for kicking someone.

Waldron played through the game with a partially torn hamstring and Daymon Long, senior fly-half, played with an ankle injury.

 Near the end of the game, freshman fullback Christian Barker came out with an ankle injury causing the team to play the rest of the game shorthanded.

Despite the lopsided game, the Bisons supported each other throughout.

“From day one, we preach about brotherhood and I know a lot of times that word can get thrown around so much that it loses its meaning, but 100 percent at our core, that’s what this is about,” Brown said. “Win, lose, draw, whatever, we’re all together.”

While tensions ran high during the game and some minor confrontations ensued, players respected each other at the end of the game, even being able to laugh with each other.

“Even in the thick of a seven-to-eight-year rivalry, you can definitely tell that both clubs have respect for each other. We were shaking hands, we were laughing with one another and that’s the beauty of the sport,” Reed said.

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