Have you ever been up to a men’s rugby game on upper campus? If not, you have no clue what you are missing and you should definitely come to upper campus this Saturday at 2:00 to see the undefeated Bloomsburg Men’s Rugby Club host Millersville in a game that, when Bloomsburg wins, will make them the EPRU Freedom division champions. Saturday’s game has the makings of a great game, with Millersville having a 3-1 record so far this season.
The Bloomsburg ruggers are ranked nationally #20 in Division 2 college rugby, according to www.erugbynews.com, possibly the highest ranking ever for Bloomsburg. The Bloomsburg team has high expectations this year because of the club’s returning talent and success over the past couple of seasons.
Last season, Bloomsburg won the EPRU Keystone division and finished 2nd place in the EPRU playoffs. Along the way the team won games versus Princeton, Temple, Villanova, York, Lock Haven, and East Stroudsburg, before losing in the championship game against St. Joe’s. Because of last year’s success, Bloomsburg qualified for the MARFU playoffs but lost in the first round to Georgetown.
There are many reasons to support the rugby team: First, these guys compete at a high level against teams that recruit, give scholarships, and have a much larger budget than Bloomsburg. Bloomsburg does not recruit or give scholarships to any players and basically all recruiting is done by word of mouth. The team also receives a limited amount of funding from the school and pays for national and league dues through player seasonal dues. Also, the rugby team runs practices and makes game decisions by themselves, without a real coach. For example, players Dave Linaberry and Jon Kokinda help guide the team in the right direction with their experiences, but the team makes decisions based on a hierarchy system with the more experienced and older players on the team having more input. Finally the team has a reputation of being a hard nosed, tough team, who doesn’t love to watch a game with lots of action and big hits?
So finally, what is rugby? Great question…. this link can provide you with basically ever answer you would want. See you at a game soon or if you are interested in playing, practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 and a short Friday practice between 3:00-5:00 on the rugby field, located next to the flag football fields on upper campus. The rugby team is not made up of all high school rugby players, most of our players only learned the game after coming to Bloomsburg— the team is made up of ex- wrestlers, football players and soccer players, but everyone is welcome to come out and give it a shot.