Men's Rugby Earns First DII Playoff Bid!
After a losing first appearance in Division II play last year, the Xavier Men’s Rugby Club sat down and made the necessary preparations for the upcoming year. The club committed themselves to becoming the fittest team of all the Division II teams in Ohio, becoming Playoff Qualifiers, and taking the necessary steps for the preservation of our Club. Xavier Rugby definitely hit the ground running…literally. With an unprecedented pre-season camp that lasted a grueling ten days in 95° weather, the club made it through conditioning, rucking, tackling, scrumming, and passing drills. As if this was not enough, the club received the help of Cori Dayton, Xavier Athletics’ Strength and Conditioning Assistant Coach, in the weight room everyday as well as running two miles as a team every morning. The club carried their new work ethic into their practices, and by the time their season opener came along against University of Cincinnati, the boys in blue were ready. The new fitness level of the entire team truly showed in the first game against UC, where at half time the club was up by only a try. However, at the start of the second half of the game, Xavier’s fitness shone through as the Xavier scored back-to-back-to-back tries in a matter of five minutes, and Xavier went on to beat UC 36 to 22. From there Xavier carried out a 2-2-1 record. However, Xavier’s fitness was responsible for pushing Xavier past Dayton in the standings as they scored more tries out of any other team in their league, and thus giving them the extra points that placed them in 3rd place in their league. Xavier’s 3rd place standing earned them their first playoff bid in recent memory’s history. Xavier suffered two tough losses in the playoffs, to Michigan State in the first round and Slipper Rock University in the second round after an overtime period and penalty kicks. Regardless of the club’s losses at the playoffs, the club managed to complete all their season goals by being the fittest club in Division II play, qualifying for the playoffs, and developing their roster from a 25-man-team to nearly a 45-man-team.