Men’s Rugby looks for revenge against Miami

Pamela Crimbchin

The men’s rugby team was hard at work last night as they prepare for their game against Miami University Saturday at 1 p.m. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The Kent State’s men’s club rugby team will try to keep its winning streak alive over the weekend against Miami University.

“I cannot wait for Saturday’s game,” said Tommy Krecic, senior integrated health studies major. “It is going to be a great competition.”

Kent State’s rugby team was undefeated in its 2008 spring season, and coach Adam Rapp said he is very proud and enthusiastic about his team.

“We were 4-0 in regular matches, and we played in three tournaments,” Rapp said. “We took fifth, third and second consecutively.”

The team said the most exciting game of the spring season was against Buffalo, a Division I team that is ranked 24th in the country. Kent State is a Division II team but still managed to beat Buffalo 32-5.

“They are one of the top teams in country and we beat them pretty good, so that was pretty exciting for us,” Rapp said.

However, Kent State lost to Miami in its fall competitive season last year.

“It was horrible,” senior technology major Vince Rienzi said.

Miami had a large senior class last fall that chose to use its brawn to beat the Flashes.

“Their main goal for running down the field is crash,” Krecic said. “They will get a big guy and just crash into the ball. Then they will pop it out to their big guys and they will crash again.”

Rienzi is ready for some personal revenge because a player poked him in the eye last year.

“He stuck his finger in my eyeball,” Rienzi said. “I think it was on purpose.”

Rapp and the team have developed some strategies to defeat Miami.

“We’re going to use our back line players for speed to hopefully dominate,” Rapp said.

There are 15 new players on the team with only two practices in so far. Rapp said while this is an average amount of new players, there has been an influx in high school rugby teams, which could lead to more players later on.

New player John Zayicek, junior aeronautics major, said he wasn’t nervous about his first game.

“I have no idea what is going on,” Zayicek said. “But it seems like a fun sport. That’s why I’m playing.”

Rugby is considered a “learning sport,” which means the team doesn’t give out handbooks or have days for training new players. As the team practices, if a player doesn’t know a rule or what is going on, the team will stop and explain. Therefore, new players are expected to learn a lot Saturday.

“You don’t need to know how to play,” Krecic said. “When you come out, we teach as we play.”

Women’s rugby starts the battle 11 a.m., tomorrow at home and the men go head-to-head at 1 p.m.

“Saturday is going to be a really intense competitive game,” Rapp said. “So anybody who can come out (should) come out. It will be a great time.”

Contact sports correspondent Pamela Crimbchin at [email protected].