Men’s rugby loses to Bowling Green on the road

Kyle Samec

The words from Kent State’s fly half Ian Brooks best describes the outcome of Saturday’s loss to Bowling Green.

“It was cold, rainy and we got beat down pretty bad,” Brooks said.

The men’s rugby team ran into a fired-up Falcons team that lost last week to Western Michigan University, which was a rare loss for the reigning Mid-American Conference champion.

“Poor play by us led to Bowling Green getting a lot of ball possession,” Brooks said. “We played defense a lot more than offense, and in a game like that, you can only hold out for so long.”

Bowling Green (4-1) has won the MAC the last 33 seasons, which is why coach Tim Brofman said the Falcons are so well-respected in the rugby world.

The rigorous practice style they use creates a team that rarely messes up, Brooks said.

“Bowling Green was fundamentally sound and all 15 of its players knew where to be and what to do,” Brooks said. “That’s why they scored so much.”

The Flashes’ president Keegan Gillilan said another big reason why Bowling Green is so far ahead of Kent State right now is the fact that they’ve had a rugby director and a well-organized club for a long time.

“Our men, in most cases, are better athletes,” Gillilan said. “(We’re) just too young to compete with their kind of rugby IQ.”

For as bad as the outcome was, Gillilan said that the largely young and inexperienced Flashes (0-3) team, terrible weather conditions, and high level of play, the Falcons have competed at for years, led to these results.

“There was a whole lot of positives to be found in the cracks of an all-but-broken KSU men’s rugby club,” Gillilian said. “When we lay out the factors like BGSU and its program of players who get to play for all four years … it starts to make for a lesson learned as opposed to disappointment.”

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