Men’s rugby beats Niagara, again


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Tim Kaiser and men’s club rugby traveled to Niagara University and won, 29-21.

Pat Koster, Reporter

About a month ago, the Buffalo State men’s club rugby team defeated Niagara University in a close conference matchup. This past weekend, the Bengals did it again.

The team traveled to Niagara on Friday to play against the Purple Eagles under the lights, where they won, 29-21.

In what senior captain Christian Feickert described as a back and forth battle, the Bengals struggled at times with cohesiveness. The lead changed multiple times throughout the course of the game.

Junior winger and team president, August Edwards, said that he and his teammates started off strong, scoring early in the first half. He said that both teams were strong defensively.

“I think we got a little comfortable and we made a lot of lackadaisical mistakes, like bad passes leading into interceptions,” Edwards said. “So it just took us [time] to settle down and come together as a unit and play off of Niagara’s mistakes.”

Coach Rob Jenkinson said that some of the inefficient play from his team was a result of not having very good practices the week before.

“I don’t want to come down negatively, but we definitely didn’t help ourselves, that’s for sure,” Jenkinson said. “We made some poor decisions with the ball. We just weren’t really playing together. I’m happy with the outcome, but just disappointed in the play.”

Jenkinson said that some of the poor decisions on the field could have been due to the recent changes in daylight saving time. With it getting darker earlier, the team had difficulty finding a lighted field to practice on, making practices shorter.

Despite a few obstacles, Buffalo State managed to come back from a two point deficit at the end of the second half. With ten minutes left in the game, the Bengals scored two tries, taking the lead and bringing home the win.

“We made a couple mental mistakes that got NU back in the game, but luckily, we were really resilient at the end,” Feickert said. “We made up for our mistakes, we corrected our wrongs and by the end of the game, we knew we were winning when we turned around.”

The close score could have been expected, as Niagara seemed to have studied Buffalo State’s strategy a bit more since their last meeting.

“Niagara played a good game. They were well-coached [and] they were well-conditioned. They can play a very good, rapid style of rugby,” Jenkinson said. “I’m glad to see the way they were playing rugby. It should help them out going into the playoffs.”

Jenkinson said that Niagara had fast runners and smart players that challenged his team.

“It was a great experience. It was really nice to have a bunch of fans in the stands and to do it under the lights,” Jenkinson said. “We were down a couple times in that game and we were able to battle back both times. It’s good to see stuff like that.”

The men’s team will have their first playoff game against Oswego this weekend. Players and coaches expect the game to be very competitive and physical.

While Buffalo State didn’t face Oswego in the regular season this fall, they did face them twice in a tournament last spring. In that tournament, Oswego won the first game against Buffalo State, and the second went to the Bengals.

The women’s club rugby team also played this past weekend. On Saturday, the women’s team headed to Poughkeepsie, NY to face Vassar College in the first round of the playoffs where they lost, 39-12.

The men’s game is scheduled for Saturday at Oswego.


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