Leave it to us Yanks to rename football “soccer” so that we can call a modified version of British rugby “football.” Let me add in the same breath that we also, for a time, called sauerkraut “liberty cabbage,” and more recently denied fries their “french” and gave them some “freedom” instead. Go figure.Analogies aside, rugby in its original form has found its place across the pond at UR as well as many high schools and colleges nationwide. Having never watched rugby in my life, I went into UR rugby club’s game Saturday against SUNY Fredonia not knowing what to expect. The match proved to be an important one – UR’s playoff hopes depended on it. UR entered the game with a win, a loss and a tie and needed to defeat Fredonia in order to move on to the Division II Championship.After just those first few minutes, I came to the immediate realization that rugby is not a sport for the faint of heart. Right before the game, both teams huddled together on opposite sides of the field and entered into their own motivational chants that recalled pre-battle scenes in “Braveheart,” just without the kilts and subsequent mooning. Fully revved up, the teams went at each other full force. About 20 minutes into the match, a Yellowjacket had to be taken out of the game with a possible concussion. In fact, the Medical Emergency Response Team is on call at all UR rugby games, on account of the fact that most players do not wear more than mouth guards and thinly padded headgear. UR and Fredonia seesawed back and forth for the lead, with Fredonia ahead 14-10 at halftime. After Fredonia scored a try, the rough rugby equivalent of a touchdown, but worth five points, without converting, which is like a point-after-touchdown and is also worth two points – UR took back control 20-19 with a field goal, senior Scott Caesar’s try and a successful conversion by club president and captain, junior Matt Venzin.Unfortunately, that would be the last time the Yellowjackets would hold the lead, as Fredonia converted another try to end the game 26-20.”The game was really tough and we played hard,” Venzin said, “but we just couldn’t finish them off.”In only its third year, UR rugby moved into Division II this year after taking the Division III title for Western New York last season. The students that began the club, like former rugby All-American candidate senior Jonah Pozen, managed, recruited and trained their players until hiring coach Joe Kirsch this year. Though the loss to Fredonia ended their playoff hopes, the team still has one more game against SUNY Buffalo on Saturday. With its powerful mix of seasoned veterans, experienced newcomers and fresh blood, club rugby continues to establish itself as an essential part of UR athletics. Oh, and don’t ever confuse them with football.Troyer can be reached at mtroyer@campusimes.org.



Gaza solidarity encampment: Live updates

The Campus Times is live tracking the Gaza solidarity encampment on Wilson Quad and the administrative response to it. Read our updates here.

An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.

Live updates: Wallis Hall sit-ins

Editor’s Note (5/4/24): This article is no longer being updated. For our most up to date coverage, look for articles…