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ASU Rubgy Looks to The Season Ahead

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

As a new semester approaches so does the return of ASU rugby.

Last season, ASU dropped the opening game against USD but bounced back with a win against Mira Costa after AZUSA Pacific forfeited their game against ASU. The end of the season saw ASU travel to California 3 weeks in a row. That run started with a win against UCSD but was followed by two losses against NORCO and Claremont. Ending the season with a slightly disappointing 3-3 record.

Asu game day
Program standouts Sean Martin and team capitain Nick Davies get ready to scrum .

There was, however, a lot of work that needed to be done off the field last season. Recruiting and participation came a long way with 54 players, the vast majority new to the program, turning out to play for ASU. Most of that was done through ASU rugby making a concerted effort to get into the ASU community more by appearing at ASU Sportsclub events, ASU sporting events and supporting other clubs like ASU’s Women’s Rugby Team.

The influx of players meant that the B-side was able to play games against various local teams. The B-side allowed players to develop their games further and get playing time to stay sharp. Players like Harmon Crowe and Graham Ferguson started the season on the B-side but went on to make appearances for the A-side later in the season. Landon Lahodny played B-side for a few games to keep sharp before solidifying a place in the pack after injuries took their toll.

GSU & ASU  collaboration for the development of local rugby
ASU Rugby head coach Pieter Hugo Talks to his team during the ASU &GCU combined practice

There was also an effort to get out into the valley’s rugby community more. ASU rugby members were at the U19 state championship game to watch Phoenix beat Brophy. Several players were frequently at Monday’s or Wednesday's touch rugby sessions. For the first time in a few years, ASU played GCU in a pre-season game in the fall, had a joint practice in January, and a B-side game in the spring.

In a similar vein, there were games against Phoneix and Scottdale Blues in the fall. During the spring ASU also had a game against the Phoenix Storm, the local IGR team.

ASU rugby is in a strong position for the upcoming season. While the losses of Devin Rivet, Jakob Hernandez, Josh Lesley, Sean Martin, Joey Bridgman and Syd Schwonald are big in terms of on-field production and, especially, rugby knowledge. However, there are 2nd-year players who are ready to step up and 42 new players signed up for next season.

McCade Siegel ( 2024 season returning player ) carries the ball into contact

Some of the changes for this season include a third practice on Mondays, a lifting session on Wednesdays and a new scrum machine at the SDFC.

There are plans to continue engaging with the Arizona Rugby community.For the 2nd year running ASU will have scrimmages against GCU. Finally, some of our players will be playing in the 2nd round of the Fiesta 7s Series.

ASU’s season will begin on September 21st with a 7s scrimmage against GCU. The first 15s game will be on September 29th against NAU. Any interested ASU student can sign up HERE.

 

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