Baylor rugby rolls over TCU in weekend road contest

Three members of the Baylor rugby team tackle their arch rival TCU. The Bears defeated the Horned Frogs 50-8 on Saturday. Courtesy of Jordan Maat

By Branson Hardcastle | Reporter

Baylor Rugby dominated Texas Christian University in their first conference game of the year.

The game took place at TCU, but that did not stop the bears from asserting their dominance as they took down the horned frogs 50-8.

Portland, Ore. sophomore fullback Luke Davis said the keys to the team’s success was the way they ran the ball.

“We definitely ran the ball hard. When we got the ball out wide, there was a lot of open space. We were able to utilize that space to our advantage,” Davis said. “We used overloads and ran the line well to create open space.”

Overloads and running the line are used in rugby to create mismatches for the offense. They spread the defense out and put more offensive players on one side of the field than the defense can cover. By running good, hard lines that are spaced well, the offense will eventually end up with no defense in front of them to create a scoring opportunity.

Houston junior inside center Stewart Morris had a stellar game as he managed to score two tries in the game.

Tucson, Ariz. sophomore lock Gordon Wilson also played well as he had one try and a lot of solid runs that set up other scores.

“Every game [Stewart] is a key player. He had two tries today and every time he touches the ball he is dangerous,” Davis said. “He is a hard runner and always finds space to run.”

Another key aspect of their win was Baylor’s defense. The defense only allowed eight points in the game and managed to create turnovers throughout.

Although it played well, there are still some parts to the game that Baylor needs to improve on as the season progresses.

This was the first game that Baylor used a new attacking structure so there were some mistakes as they are still learning the system. They had a lot of knock-ons, where a player misses the ball and accidentally hits the ball forward which results in a turnover.

The wind could have been a factor in the game as it was reaching gusts of up to 25 miles per hour. Davis said that the wind caused a couple of miscues, but they still need to clean those up as they move forward.

Houston sophomore fullback Ethan Battaglini said that there are things they need to improve as well as the team moves forward.

“We need to work on communication as a whole. We need to know what our defensive scheme is and matchup in the gaps to stop the offense,” Battaglini said. “We need to have a blue head on the field. When things are going wrong it is easier to make mistakes. Blue heads are calm and in the zone and are able to make clear confident decisions while still being aggressive.”

They are hoping this win will help carry momentum into their next game against Oklahoma. That game will be Dec. 2 at home on the BSB fields.

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