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The CU rugby team beat Colorado State University on Saturday at Infinity Park in Glendale — and taught me what rivalry really means.
I’ve played rugby for three years, but I never felt the kind of hostility that CU and CSU feel for each other until I joined the CU rugby team. Now I fully understand the rivalry. Graduating seniors will remember the last time they played CSU for the rest of their lives.
Fans cheer a little louder, the TV broadcast gets a little more attention and all the players push a little harder during the game.
Rucks and mauls are even testier than usual. When CU played CSU this Saturday, two players were carded — one got a yellow after a punch and the other got a red after kicking a player in the face.
It was just the push that CU needed though. Even playing with two less men than CSU, the Buffs came alive.
Players were pumped up for this game, and it was evident as both teams came out firing in the first half. At halftime the score was 15-8, and all indications were that it was going to be a close game down to the end.
CU scored almost immediately after the second half started, just another testament to what a great rivalry this is. With only 13 players, CU found the strength to score multiple times against CSU’s 15 players.
Playing with two men down made the Buffs’ 48-20 walloping of the Rams on Saturday that much sweeter. Saturday’s game was the first regular season match for both teams, which added even more pressure. Both teams wanted to beat the other for notoriety both in Colorado and in the nation.
This game was the launching pad for the rest of the season, and CU started off with a bang. I could see in my team’s eyes that we were ready for this game.
But we also thought we were ready for our two preseason games, and we lost both of them.
Playing against CSU is different though. There is something special about that game that makes everyone on the field try a little harder and push a little more. Big players step up during big games, and for CU, everyone stepped up and played well.
Next week when we travel to Arizona, I hope players can get just as pumped up to play a game against someone other than CSU. With any luck, the momentum can carry into the rest of the season and we can take it one game at a time.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Scott Annis at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.