By Branson Hardcastle | Reporter
No. 16 Baylor Rugby defeated Texas State Saturday in Austin by a score of 72-19.
Baylor dismantled the Bobcats on its way to the victory. They started off sluggishly, but after finding their groove, the club never looked back. Baylor drastically improved its margin of victory over the Bobcats, as they only won by 10 last season.
Houston junior inside center Stewart Morris said the team used the prediction as motivation for the game.
“[Coach Herring] made it known to us what the prediction was before the game. He wanted us to prove the prediction wrong and win by more than that,” Morris said.
Multiple players scored for the Bears, including the entire backline, which consists of seven players, and several substitutions. Houston freshman flanker Griffin Maat scored twice in his first collegiate game and Morris scored three times, which is also known as a hat-trick.
The defense contained the Bobcats’ offense, limiting them to only 19 points. Maat said the defense was always supporting each other, sending multiple defenders to tackle the ball carrier and the physical nature of play made the game easier.
Austin freshman flanker Kodiak Page said he believes the chemistry of the team was a factor in the win as well.
“We all knew what to do. We found a groove toward the end and passed the ball to move up and down the field to score,” Page said. “We played really well together and were in sync for a lot of the game.”
Although the Bears won, Morris and Maat said they believe there are still things the team needs to improve on as the season moves forward.
“We had a lot of dropped balls and a lot of little mistakes,” Maat said. “We ended up picking up as the game progressed, but in the beginning, it was very sloppy play. It took us a little bit to get our legs under us and get to our style of play.”
Morris said the younger guys need to have a better understanding of the game, which comes with time, and understand the little things such as tackling form. He said they need to start the game strong and play the whole game with intensity.
The rugby club plays again Saturday at the University of Oklahoma in the Red River Rugby Conference 7’s North Tournament. This tournament is a seven-on-seven tournament, which is smaller than the standard 15 vs. 15.