The University of Colorado men’s rugby team took to the field to face neighboring rival University of Wyoming Saturday afternoon in Boulder on Kittredge Field. After a tough battle and being down a good portion of the game, the Buffs pulled out the win 24-20.
This was the Buffs’ third game of the spring season. They won both of their matches in February and then had to postpone the match against Colorado State University last weekend because of bad weather conditions. Senior flanker Charlie Barkmeier said the games against Wyoming are always tough, which makes them entertaining. Colorado will face them again in Wyoming on April 5.
“We have two more shots at them, and they are definitely some of the most fun games to play,” Barkmeier said. “It always gets a little scrappy which is fun, a lot of friends on that team both ways as well.”
Wyoming is one of CU Rugby’s biggest rivals because of the close games and level of competition between the teams. But Barkmeier said that he doesn’t think he has ever lost to Wyoming while being a Buff.
The Buffs came out strong against the Cowboys, converting a try to go up 5-0 in the first five minutes. But the Cowboys were relentless and would put 17 points on the scoreboard before half time. With a minute left in the first, senior scrumhalf Sean Kilfoyle ran it in to bring the Buffs within five (12-17).
Colorado spent a good portion of the first half playing defense and being pushed back into their own side of the field. Barkmeier says that at half time his team decided they needed a change.
“We decided that we needed to start attacking them more than they were attacking us,” Barkmeier said. “We played the first half mostly in our own end and let them put us under pressure, so we decided to basically out tough them instead of letting them out tough us.”
The second half started with the ball mostly in CU’s half. The Buffs kept rushing the ball and finally after a few attempts in the northeast corner of the field were able to convert. Freshman hooker Gavin Moscone was the one to help the Buffs tie the score at 17-17 with 23 minutes left. But Wyoming received another chance five minutes later and kicked it to give them a three point lead over the Buffs.
Around the field, fans were yelling and cheering on their Buffs to “push it in” hoping to motivate Colorado to get the score they needed.
With time ticking, the Buffs were on the line, trying to drive it in for the needed points to win. After two tries, the Buffs converted and won the game 24-20.
Barkmeier says that today was a good wake up call for the team. He said that the team entered the game confident but there are still things the team needs to work on if the members want to make it far in post-season play.
“We need to pick it up. I think coming into this game we were a little overconfident,” he said. “We know what we need to work on, and if we improve in things like coming out fast, then we will do pretty well. “
Colorado plays at home again next weekend against in-state rival CSU. Game time is set for 4 p.m. Sat., March 15 on Kittredge Field.
Contact CUIndependent sports editor Jillian Arja at Jillian.firstname.lastname@example.org