Women’s Rugby Takes a Hit

Something was amiss at Negoesco Field Saturday afternoon. There were field goal posts in lieu of soccer goals, mouth guards strewn about, and a kilted man running the length of the field. While a shock to most passersby, a rugby player doesn’t know a more comfortable place. On Saturday, two women’s clubs, the University of San Francisco BATS (Bay Area Touring Side) and Humboldt State (HSU), were warming up for the eighty minute contact contest.

Rugby by Emily Bogden
Brittany Johnston is lifted by the USF team in a line out to see who will take posession. (Emily Bogden/Foghorn)

USF started the season in Nevada, where they defeated University of Nevada, Reno in a defensive performance they will not forget. Last week, however, USF fell to Santa Clara on the Hilltop in a hard-fought match. Hungry for victory, USF took aim at Humboldt State.
Humboldt received the opening kick, and after a brief scrum, the much larger Humboldt forwards punched in the first try of the match. After a missed conversion, USF trailed 5-0, a lead that grew to 19-0 before USF had an answer.

Good phase plays by the USF forwards drew Humboldt offside, giving USF the choice to either kick for points or kick for touch (in certain occasions, kicking the ball out of bounds is a way of advancing the ball, since the kicker retains possession). Needing points, USF fly-half Lakin Porter teed up the ball and, from outside the 22-meter hash, booted the ball between the sticks for three points.

With time winding down in the half, Humboldt scored two more tries and spilt the conversions, giving them a commanding 31-3 lead.
As USF tried to score before the half, the Humboldt No. 8 illegally hit USF scrum-half Sally Le above her shoulders whilst Le was out of bounds, meriting USF a line-out ten meters from the try line. After a few failed attempts due to penalties and early jumps by Humboldt, USF mauled the ball within 5 meters of the line and ultimately scored their first try of the match, a try measured by effort and heart more than points on a board.

With the second half starting and USF trailing 31-8, Humboldt, again, broke USF’s defensive line early on for a try and a successful conversion. The rest of the half was controlled by USF, who used their faster backs to gain meters on the pitch and hammer home two tries of their own. With one of the two conversions staying true, USF trailed 38-20 but was building momentum for a potential comeback. Humboldt, however, put that to rest with a try late in the half, giving them a 44-20 lead. Humboldt proceeded to kill time with short, powerful forward punches. After full time, USF fell to Humboldt, 44-20.

In any contest, there are always winners and losers and, sadly, Saturday was not the Dons’ day. Nevertheless, when University of Nevada, Reno comes to town this weekend, USF will be tougher, smarter and more dangerous than before.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

Sports Editor: Matt Steinbach

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