Photo courtesy of Red Bull/Brett Wilhelm
Red Bull hosted its University 7s tournament qualifier Aug. 25 at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo., where eight of the top rugby teams of the country competed to represent the United States against 11 of the top universities from across the world.
Utah Valley University rugby was one of the eight teams competing for an opportunity to represent its country, and a shot at bringing more attention to a program that is slowly making noise itself.
With a Division II National Championship under their belt, and an upcoming season in Division IA, UVU looked forward to showing others around the country what they are all about. Unfortunately, the outcome of the tournament is not what they expected.
Head coach Adam Griffee was grateful for the opportunity to compete in the tournament, even though he felt that they did not have the showing they expected.
“We were forced to take a pretty raw squad due to scheduling,” said Griffee. “We had a few players playing 7s for the first time and a few who have been playing rugby for only few months.”
UVU faced off against Lindenwood University, a team that was ranked in the top 10 last year, and they showed to be a fierce opponent. According to Griffee, they struggled at first starting off a bit nervous taking them a minute to adjust to Lindenwood’s offense.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough, as UVU was only able to score one try against its opponent with a final score of 29-7.
The second game was against the University of Wyoming. Again, UVU came up short with a final score of 26-14.
“We came out flat against them, missed tackles cost us the game,” said Griffee.
After facing off against Wyoming, UVU faced Clemson University in a match that started off well for UVU, but due to two injuries in the start of the second quarter, they fell behind. Unable to catch up to Clemson, the Wolverines fell with a final score of 22-17.
The final match was against the University of Denver, with UVU dominating the game with a final score of 45-0.
“We felt we definitely did not meet our expectations, but we were able to see the adjustments we need to make for the coming year,” Griffee said.
Lindenwood University will represent the United States in Bath, England on Sept. 17.
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