Central Washington University has one of the premier collegiate men’s rugby programs in the nation, but it doesn’t fit in geographically with its peers. The closest worthy adversaries are in California and the Mountain time zone.
The Wildcats were a staple of the Division 1-A Pacific Conference, but with more California schools moving up came fewer willing to travel north. So CWU will go it alone this season, becoming the top flight’s only independent squad for the 2013 season.
“It wasn’t really our preference. We wanted to stay,” CWU head coach Tony Pacheco said. “As they added schools, some of those schools voiced they didn’t want to come to Ellensburg, basically. So I think to kind of appease the masses, we came up with a creative solution to play as an independent.”
On Saturday March 10th, CWU will kick off at 1:00 p.m. vs UC Davis on the Ellensburg, WA Campus. The Wildcats will host Davis at the Varsity Soccer Complex on the corner of 18th and Alder. The match will mark the first home game of the 2012 season something Wildcat fans are truly excited about. UC Davis will be looking for their first win of the D1-A season having lost to UCLA a week ago. Central will be focused on getting off on the right foot and executing their Defense and Attack systems.
On Sunday the Wildcats will shift West and turn their attention to the Duck of Oregon. Sunday’s D1-AA match will take place at 1 PM on Nicholson Rugby Pitch. Central will finish out the weekend taking on the 7th place Ducks who are 1-1 thus far into the season.
Western Vs. Central: a date circled on all calendars in Ellensburg and Belingham from Basketball to Rugby. When these schools play each other great games tend to peculate up to the surface. Today was no different,the Wildcats have faced early season adversity, traveled up to Bellingham for their third road game in three straight weeks for two matches under the lights against the Vikings of Western.
Central started off with a 3 point penalty converted by Matt Lobe, making it 3-0 Central. After tries by both teams and two unconverted tries it was 8-5 Central. Western scored once more before half-time to take its only lead of the game 10-8. Central then finished the second half strong, retaking the lead and never looking back. Central scored 12 unanswered points, until Western scored late in the second-half. Central edge out Western 20-15.
CWU Rugby’s second side won their match 61-5
CWU jumps back into 7’s mode, heading to Las Vegas early next week