Editors Note: DU’s Rugby club is enjoying their 50th anniversary this season. Guest writer Zach Ziegler is a player on the squad and former President – Epsilon Chi Chapter, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.
College relationships are hard. Many don’t last. Sometimes one party invests far more than the other, changes leagues, or even just find someone new. For DU Rugby’s rivalry with the Colorado College Tigers, it was all three. After a number of years thrashing the Tigers, the Pioneers said adios to CC and moved into the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO), where they have developed a budding rivalry with the New Mexico Highlands University Vatos. The rivalry has bettered both clubs and featured many close matches, top 25 rankings, and playoff appearances between them. Of the 251 nation-wide clubs of NSCRO, NMHU is currently ranked #22 and DU at #29. The rankings were prescribed following the fall-season, where the Vatos outlasted the Pioneers in a physical bout defeating them 29-22. The Pioneers hope to return the favor this weekend as the Vatos come to Denver to close regular season play. The match comes with implications however, as the winner takes the second playoff position from the Rocky Mountain Rugby Union in the Cowboy Cup Playoff Tournament, which will be hosted at the University of Denver March 24-25th.
Despite the fall loss to the Vatos, this match looks to prove differently as the Pioneers welcome back four starters from study abroad and two from injury – including All-American nominated captain Brandon Wright, who was out all fall from a knee surgery. The Pioneers trained throughout all of winter break and winter quarter together for this one match and look to showcase these efforts to the DU community this Saturday at DU’s Diane Wendt Sports Field at 2:30PM.
If you have never been to a Rugby match or want to watch high-level college Rugby, please stop by and give us your support.
Further details can be found on the event Facebook page here: