DU Rugby is the Pacific West Champions and is headed to Nationals

DU Men's Rugby celebrating becoming Pac West Regional Champions

DU Men’s Rugby celebrating becoming Pac West Regional Champions

The DU Men’s Club Rugby team became Pac West Regional Champions after winning their two games this weekend in Glendale. Their defeat against Cal Maritime on Saturday and Occidental College on Sunday advanced them to the final four.

This is the first time the DU Rugby Team has even made it to the Pac West Championship. They are now headed to the National semi-finals where they will compete to be crowned National Champions.

On March 24, the team won the Cowboy Cup in Texas after defeating Colorado School of Mines 23-7. This win advanced them on to the Pac West Championship.

This was the first time DU Rugby had been in the playoffs since 2007.

Cal Maritime

DU Rugby’s win against Cal Maritime took place on Saturday in Glendale at Infinity Park.

Cal Maritime were last year’s Pac West Champions. They were the expected team to win the bracket this year but were defeated against Denver.

DU was able to prevail 21-17 against Cal Maritime to advance to the championship game.

The energy and dedication of the team could be seen through their efficient plays. Each player came to the game ready to give it their all.

Occidental

DU’s 31-27 win against Occidental College named them Pac West Champions.

DU beats Occidental College 31-27

University of Denver beats Occidental College 31-27 on Sunday’s game at Infinity Park

Sunday’s close game had everyone on edge.

Occidental proved to be a strong force early on in the game. Occidental dominated the scoreboard after successfully making their drop goals and intercepting a pass to score a try.

Denver did not let the score diminish their spirits and continued to play with intensity.

“I think anyone who watches the DU Rugby team can see that they are a team with so much heart and dedication. Every single one of those players wants to win so badly and you can really see their love for the game on the field. No matter what the score is whether they are winning or loosing, the team always plays at 110% and I love that you can really see their perseverance at every game.” said Ava Geupel, a dedicated fan.

Denver was up 26-24 but was soon down by one after Occidental earned 3 points in a drop goal making the score 27-26 Occidental.

DU was down by one during the second half but managed to keep fighting till the very last second. Fans were on their feet watching the ball bounce from team to team.

Denver scored a try in the last minute giving them the lead and ending the game.

Key Players

“Our team is all about teamwork. I messed up at some points but Gabe was always there to cover me and push the ball up the field.” Bill Platisa said.

Platisa is a junior at the University of Denver studying Engineering. This is his first season playing for the Rugby team.

Gabe Bram is also a junior at the University of Denver. The right wing is a dominant player on the field and has proven to be a key player.

“I am still in shock that we are Pac West Champions! This is the furthest I have ever gotten in any sport I have ever played. This is also the furthest DU Rugby has ever gotten in history. It was kind of unexpected. I am really proud and excited for our team.” Bram said.

Trever Hanson, a senior, was awarded the ball of the game at Sunday’s game. The ball of the game is usually awarded to the player who showed the most heart.

Casey Slattery was awarded MVP at Sunday’s game.

“Casey totally deserved to be MVP. He is only 190 lbs but he is just such a good player and we all see his hard work both on and off the field.” Said Bram about teammate Slattery.

Nationals

DU will play against St. John’s on April 27. The Saturday game will take place in Glendale at Infinity Park.

University of Denver, St. John’s, Duke, and New England College are the final four.

Duke and New England will also play April 27 at Infinity Park. The winning teams will face each other on April 28 for the National Championship.

More information and updates about DU’s Club Rugby team can be found on their website.

Duke and New England will also play April 27 at Infinity Park. The winning teams will face each other on April 28 for the National Championship.

More information and updates about DU’s Club Rugby team can be found on their website.

One Response to DU Rugby is the Pacific West Champions and is headed to Nationals

  • Elizabeth Pinkerton
    Elizabeth Pinkerton says:

    Rachel, this is an excellent story. You do a great job describing the rugby team’s quest to the final four. I know nothing about DU Rugby and now I feel as though I’m caught up. Also, it’s great that you provided a little history about the rugby team to put the current situation into perspective. You provided good links, used bold headings to break up the story into sections, and captured interesting pictures. I especially like the second picture because you caught the players in action. I like how you interview not only the players, but also a fan. This provided several different perspectives. The fact that you provided information about their upcoming games at the end was also helpful. You have a solid headline, and seem to generally stick to AP style. The only thing I would say is that at some points in the story, the wording was a little awkward, like when you were introducing the players who you interviewed. It could have flowed a little bit better. But, overall, this is a great story, good job!

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