Friday, September 26, 2014

Where There's Texas Rugby - Sept 27, 2014

College rugby kicks off in Texas this weekend with SIX matches!

The South West Women's Collegiate Rugby Conference has Texas A&M travelling to Austin on Friday, September 26 for an 8pm clash with their old rival, the University of Texas. This is always a hotly contested match and both clubs consider this match to be THE match of their season. Keeping the game fun, fair, and safe will be the job of Austin's favorite retired Navy Commander, Butch Neuenschwander.

The Red River Collegiate Rugby Conference has not issued a logo, yet. But, five of its member teams are in action this weekend.

On Saturday at noon, Oklahoma takes the field against Baylor in Waco for a 1st XV conference match, followed by a 2nd side match at 2pm. Both teams are well-coached, but Oklahoma seems to have spent more time together as a team and already has a few non-conference wins under their belts, while this is Baylor's first punch for this season. The Sooners are the favorites going into this season, but the Bears' defense was coming on stronger toward the end of the last season.

Texas Christian hosts the Texas Longhorns on Saturday night at 6pm. TCU disappointed themselves last season in the SWC with a middle of the pack finish. They knew they were a better team than that, but injuries and other commitments got in the way. Texas is coming off a tough first run in the Varsity Cup, but the 'Horns also have a more experienced team this year than last. Texas looked strong in early non-conference action against UT-Dallas, but battered the following day against St Ed's. That lingering taste of defeat by a smaller school may be the advantage Texas needs. This is TCU's first foray into D1A Rugby and it might show.

The non-conference match between UNT & Texas Tech has been cancelled. This is second cancellation for Tech this fall.

Texas A&M takes squads to Nacogdoches this weekend to play in SFA's RugbyFest tournament.

In addition to hosting a rugby tournament, Stephen F. Austin hosts Rice in the first SWC match of the Fall. Due to the tournament, it is a 10am kickoff. SFA put on a strong performance against a mixed-experience Rice squad trying to get plenty of playing time at the SWC XVs Tournament. Rice had plenty of numbers at the tourney, so it is expected that Rice will have it's true 1st XV out against the Lumberjacks. That may not matter if the 'Jacks can get the ball into the hands of their speedsters and they have more than a few!

Finally, two Lone Star Conference teams are scheduled to clash on Saturday, as well. It is a short drive across town for Southern Methodist to take on the University of Dallas. As always, this match-up is a brilliant rivalry and the hosts have a beautiful pitch with a nice view of what used to be Texas Stadium.


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