Men’s rugby ends season with a loss


Kent State’s Casey Smith tries to break through several Central Michigan defenders during the last Kent State Mens Rugby home game of the season on Saturday, October 31, 2015. Kent State fought hard to tie the match in the second half, but let in two late tries to lose 28-14.

Kyle Samec

Now that Kent State Men’s Rugby Club team is finished with its first season as a Division I (D1) team, it goes into the offseason looking to improve upon certain skills.

“Basic skills like passing, tackling and overall play,” junior Ian Brooks said. “If we don’t practice those kind of skills come spring, we will have formed bad habits.”

Brooks said many of the players on this Flashes unit haven’t played D1 rugby before, but even so, he felt the team adapted as best as they could throughout the year.

“We definitely lost a few games we thought we should have won, but in all honesty, this was a building season,” Brooks said. “In my mind, this season was a successful season, but we will be looking to do a lot better next year.”

In their first D1 season, the Flashes finished 1-5, with their one victory coming against Mid-American Conference (MAC) opponent Ball State University.  

The Flashes lost Saturday afternoon in their last game of the regular season to the Exiles of Central Michigan University, 28-14, in a hard-fought loss that came because of a couple mistakes.

“There were two pivotal defensive mistakes that gave them the game,” team president Keegan Gillilan said. “We had a fairly unorganized defensive line today. Both of those tries were attributed to that. Specifics don’t matter at that point.”

Brookes said some specifics were the Flashes’ passive nature on defense, not attacking the opponents when they had the ball, and being unprepared when the Exiles’ defense came up on the Flashes when they were on offense.

“It’s a technique issue,” Brooks said. “We practiced on it all week and it didn’t translate into our game.”

Gillilan said the team hopes to get better attendance out of all of its players and focus on quality, not quantity.

“Atmosphere, team mentality and (the) attendance policy will change,” Gillilan said. “Rugby is going to be a priority for all our athletes.”

Kyle Samec is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]