Men’s club rugby advances to playoffs

Halee Heironimus

It was a remarkable weekend for Ashland University’s Men’s Club Rugby team as Saturday’s win against Oberlin College, 65-0, enabled them to clench a spot in the playoffs.

“We really worked our chemistry,” said senior captain and club President Steven Forbush. “Our whole team was working together which was wonderful to see. Our physicality was unmatched, we kept attacking the whole game and we didn’t let up. We were able to stay focused and able to get the win that we should’ve instead of letting up and making it a closer game than it ought to have been.”

Forbush was able to score a total of five points during his final home match. Other top scorers included sophomore co-captain Zach Hoffmann (10) and sophomore Nick Revak (10). 

“Our performance was outstanding and I am very proud of how every single player on the team played,” said Hoffmann. “I expect nothing less as we head into the playoffs this weekend. I feel that we can do great things this year in the playoffs, if we all play how we did this past Saturday we will have no problem winning our game this weekend.”

Baldwin Wallace University, Ohio Wesleyan University and Calvin College, Mich. also qualified in the playoffs. Men’s club rugby will face one of the teams this Saturday at Baldwin Wallace University. 

The men ended their regular season with a record of 4-3.

Two of the three team losses, against Wittenburg and Tiffin, came down to the last play. The men were trying to make a comeback, but they were stopped by the clock. Unfortunately, the other loss against Bowling Green State University was due to a lack of attendance from five of the starters.

However, their last two home games, against Oberlin College and Kenyon College, the men collectively outscored both teams by a total of 96-0.

“It’s been a nice couple games for our team to come together,” said Forbush. “Being so young we’re a much different team from week one to now.”

With only three seniors, including Forbush, Matt Lubinsky and Lucas Roche, the team is made up of five juniors, only two that have played their full three years, eight sophomores and six freshmen.

Prior to Forbush’s junior year, there were only six men on the club rugby team. Therefore, recruiting a huge class this year, and last year, was critical to make a strong, competitive team. 

“My goal this year was to get the guys ready for their next years and make sure the team was working well,” said Forbush. “So that when I left, it would be very competitive and there would be a culture formed. Being able to go into the playoffs my senior year is an added bonus.”