Men’s rugby captures season’s first victory

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Men’s rugby captures season’s first victory

UW-Platteville Men's Rugby team battles in scrum after infringement. The Pioneers allowed the Wildcats only one try.

UW-Platteville Men's Rugby team battles in scrum after infringement. The Pioneers allowed the Wildcats only one try.

Samantha Yingst

UW-Platteville Men's Rugby team battles in scrum after infringement. The Pioneers allowed the Wildcats only one try.

Samantha Yingst

Samantha Yingst

UW-Platteville Men's Rugby team battles in scrum after infringement. The Pioneers allowed the Wildcats only one try.

Sarah Yingst and Shelby LeDuc

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The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Men’s Rugby Club had home field advantage Saturday when they took on the Northern Michigan University Wildcats.

The Pioneers gained possession of the ball within the first 20 minutes of the game and moved it into the opponent’s in-goal side of the field for the first score. The try and kick, performed by team president Kevin Schmidt, gave UW-Platteville an early seven point lead over Northern Michigan.

The Wildcats responded with a successful try of their own, making the score 7-5 at the end of the first half.

The Pioneers maintained a strong defense throughout the second half of the game, allowing the wildcats no additional opportunities to score, holding strong within the 22-meter line.

The Pioneers pummeled through the Wildcat’s defense and managed an impressive four additional tries during the second half. Sophomore fullback Taylor Jantz, senior prop Josh Sendra, senior wing, Eric Carlson and freshman wing Hunter Halverson made tries.

The Pioneers finished the game 29-5, taking their first victory of the season.

Halverson’s try was his first at the collegiate level.

“It was exhilarating. It really was cool to be able to hear the fans cheers get louder as I approached the try zone,” said Halverson. “To feel the excitement from my teammates after we scored, almost made it like my transition onto the team official.”

Schmidt and team captain, Danny Douglas, were both impressed with the way the team dominated the game.

“I think we did a lot better on defense,” said Schmidt. “We came up a lot harder and more aggressive this game.”

Douglas gives credits the team’s overall attitude as a focal point of the victory.

“We wouldn’t give up,” Douglas said. “That’s the good thing about our team is that we keep fighting and we don’t care what the score is.”

Taking this victory into consideration, Schmidt and Douglas are both remaining positive for the rest of the season.

“We want to try to make the playoffs this year,” Douglas said. “We had a rough two weeks. We lost the first two games by five points each, so two really close games. We need to focus more during the week.”

The team is expected to pay special attention to both defensive techniques and conditioning during the practices leading up to the next game.

The UW-Platteville Men’s Rugby Club will take on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Eagles at UW-La Crosse, with kickoff at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27th.

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