The UTD men’s rugby team made a huge comeback this season, winning all six games so far, including a blowout victory against Southern Methodist University with a score of 101-0.
Last season ended with the team missing the playoffs after going 2-4, but the team has a 6-0 record so far this year. Head coach Tony Wagner said this was because veteran and junior players are willing to working together.
“We’ve got a group of guys that really want to play, we got a number of freshmen that have stepped up and playing well, the seniors they’re doing the same thing as juniors,” Wagner said. “I can’t just pick one out of so many. We have a good core of guys.”
The team’s recent string of victories includes the win against SMU. Junior prop Yahve Gallegos scored the first goal five minutes into the match. Wagner said this was because of the team’s forwards and backs putting a stop to any attacks from the opposing team.
“We went into it every game, we just started putting points on the board and we just kept rolling with it and kept them from scoring,” said Andrew Matheson, a junior who recently joined the team as a flanker. “Before we knew, it we had 66 points at half. By the end we had triple digits.”
Coach Wagner said the team had the same mentality going into the game against Rice University on Nov. 18. The team won the game against Rice with a score of 67-8, with senior flyhalf Andrew Whiteis scoring first three minutes into the match.
The team has a short break after its final game of the year on Dec. 2 against Stephen F. Austin State University, which ended with a score of 96-0. The regular season will finish in January with a game against Abilene Christian University. Wagner said the team is positive about the next few games as soon as the season steps off into the new year.
“I think we have a very good chance at placing at least in the top four at the state playoffs if we continue doing what we’re doing right now,” Wagner said.