WAYNE –70 teams made the trek to Wayne America for the 2018 Battle on the Nebraska Prairie Rugby Tournament this past weekend.
Weather on Sunday was a bit chilly but Saturday was a good day for rugby as the event was once again well attended according to founder/head coach for Wayne State College Darrin Barner.
“A handful that came from far away as far as Canada and Michigan,” said Barner. “And way out there in the Colorado-Wyoming Western area so it was well participated throughout the teams in the Midwest.”
Both the Wayne State College women and men went undefeated on the weekend and were crowned Battle on the Nebraska Prairie Rugby Tournament Champions.
The Wildcat women 7’s defeated Wisconsin-Eau Claire (45-0) and picked up a 43-0 win over the University of Iowa.
The WSC women also took on Simpson College in a double-header winning 64-24 with a combined score. WSC has now qualified for the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) 7-on-7 National Tournament in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29.
On the men’s side the Wayne State College 15’s defeated University of North Dakota 36-28 and won against St. Scholastica 28-17 which Barner described as a Challenge Match who got knocked out in the tournament after the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 round.
“Which kind of made us feel really good,” Barner added. “We definitely needed to know that we can beat a top-end team like that and now start concentrating on the trip to Pittsburg and the Final Four.
On March 24, the Wildcat men defeated LeTourneau University (46-24) and will face Mira Costa out of San Diego, California on Saturday, April 21 at 3 p.m. (Eastern Time). The match prior will feature University of New Haven (Connecticut) and John Carroll University (Ohio) at 1 p.m. ET.
The 3rd place game and National Championship match will take place on Sunday, April 22 with no scheduled times announced.
This will be the first-ever appearance in the National Finals for the Wildcat men.
The Wayne State College women’s rugby program have won seven National Titles in both 15’s and 7’s combined. WSC will look to get past last year’s championship defeat to Colgate of 15-12.