Rugby dominate 7s at Ruck the Dub


Linnea Koenigs

Titan forward carries the ball through UW-Whitewater defenders. UWO split their team in two and took first and second.

The UW Oshkosh women’s rugby team took home first and second place at the UW-Whitewater 7s Ruck the Dub tournament on Saturday in Whitewater.

The women split up into two teams of seven, Oshkosh Gold and Oshkosh Black, for the six-team tournament.

Oshkosh Gold opened the tournament on a 22-22 tie against UW-Whitewater before dominating UW-Stout in a 48-point shutout in the final match of their bracket.

Oshkosh Black’s first matchup resulted in a 17-15 win over UW-Stout.

Black went on to defeat Platteville 19-10 in their second match, paving the way for the championship round of the tournament.

Since Gold and Black both advanced out of their respective brackets, they were scheduled to go head-to-head in the championship match, but both teams decided to not play each other and just split the first- and second-place trophies instead.

The Titans have brought home trophies in back to back tournaments.

Head coach Cat Lewis said the women’s rugby team at UWO stands out due to itsability to play with balanced teams in springtime 7s play.

“I know a lot of other teams create a ‘Varsity’ and ‘JV’ or ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams for spring but we do not,” Lewis said. “Our theory is that our rookies will only improve by learning from our veteran players and playing alongside them. This also creates leadership opportunities for our vets as they can learn more about the game and how to help their teammates when playing alongside newer players who are unfamiliar with rugby positions and strategies.”

Senior Nicole Timm backed Lewis and said the bulk of their club’s success comes from Lewis’ ability to utilize all of their team, even the ones new to the game.

“Our coach tries to get our rookies significant playing time because the best way to learn rugby is to play it,” Timm said. “I’ve already seen so much improvement from our young players over the past two tournaments.”

Last week, the Titans fell short, 25-21, in the championship matchup against UW-Platteville but rallied for a shot at redemption and swept both trophies in the Ruck the Dub tournament.

Junior Avis Mueller said it’s the team’s ability to bounce back even in times of defeat that sets them apart from the competition.

“There is a very high level of camaraderie amongst our team,” Mueller said. “We operate under high standards of respect and sportsmanship set out by both our coach and the team as a whole. Even after a loss, we keep our spirits high and have a positive attitude.”

The Titans will look to take home yet another trophy this Saturday for a 7s tournament hosted by UW-Eau Claire.

Sophomore captain Grace Begotka said it is important for the Titans to stick to their gameplan of camaraderie and drive moving forward into the latter of the season.

“We will continue to maintain our success by keeping a positive attitude, having fun and communicating with each other,” Begotka said. “Everyone wants our team to be successful and sees spring season as great preparation for the competitive season in the fall.”