UA rugby hits field for scrimmage

By Craig Degel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

There comes a time when athletes get tired of doing drills every practice. Boring repetitions day in and day out.

But for the UA rugby club, that's all about to change.

After months of lifting more weights and running more sprints than it probably cares to count, the varsity team is finally getting a chance to go all out. Tomorrow afternoon, the team will play its annual Red and Blue Match at the Estevan Park Rugby Grounds.

The match will be an opportunity for veterans like Bill Key, Chris Everett and Scott Friebaum to get out and play at full speed with something more at stake.

"The varsity is having its first uncontrolled scrimmage," said Coach Dave Sitton. "Positions are on the line."

The coaching staff will also use Saturday as an evaluating tool for next weekend's Hi-Desert Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Red-Blue Match is just one of three matches taking place tomorrow. UA alumni rugby players are in Tucson this weekend and they will play at 10 a.m.

Immediately following the alumni contest is the rookies match. The rookies will hold their first controlled scrimage. They are currently preparing for a tournament of their own, the Camelback Invitational in Tempe. Also featured in the Camelback tournament are Embery Riddle, ASU and Northern Arizona.


It's been a busy week for the rugby club. In the middle of preparing for upcoming tournaments, the team stopped to host one of its own, the annual Intra-Fraternity Sevens.

The tournament is completely organized by the rugby club and is an eight-year tradition for the fraternities.

In rugby "sevens," two teams match up with seven players per side as opposed to the normal 15. The teams also play for only 20 minutes compared to the normal 80. This creates fast-paced, wide-open rugby that some of the team members call "tackle track and field."

This year's paricipating fraternities were Sigma Phi Epsilon, Kappa Sigma, Delta Chi and Beta Theta Pi.

In the two first-round matches, Beta Theta Pi scored three trys in their 19-0 defeat of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Delta Chi dominated all aspects of its 36-17 defeat of Kappa Sigma. Later in the afternoon, Sigma Phi Epsilon defeated Kappa Sigma for a third-place finish.

In the finals, Beta Theta Pi and Delta Chi flip-flopped for the lead before BetaTheta Pi pulled away for good early in the second half on its way to a 23-17 victory and the championship.

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