For Foghorn editor, USF’s rugby team Defenders of the Faith is love at first sight

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Defenders of the Faith
Although USF lost to Cal Maritime 55-13, their spirits are still high. (Heather Spellacy|Foghorn)

Rugby, a game with constant tackling, no pads and an abundance of men with accents is possibly one of the most intriguing club sports. Defenders of the Faith, USF’s club team, are making a name for themselves as a true force to be reckoned with.

Feb. 12 they hosted their first home match of the season against Cal Maritime’s Keelhaulers. The cold night welcomed the players in their tiny shorts and short sleeve polos, with the crowd bundled and freezing.
Toughness must be the greatest prerequisite of the sport, followed only then by actual talent.

As both teams made their way to the field, they began their pre-game traditions of yelling and grunting in unison. This set the manly feel of the game, as did the constant cursing from the sidelines.

Unlike basketball or baseball where almost anyone can follow the game, rugby was like a constant blob of uncertainty. Without knowledge of the game, it’s nearly impossible to follow, even harder to understand.
More often than not, all the players would be interlocked, one team pushing against the other, in what is called a scrum, one of the only terms possible to comprehend for the common spectator.

USF played well defensively in the first half, keeping the score close with Maritime ahead 14-5. The first half was boring thanks to a lack of injuries, little action and infrequent scoring. The mundane half gave spectators time to evaluate the merits of each player, namely the way their shorts showcased their athletic builds.

While both teams showed promise, Cal Maritime had a clear advantage: it was obvious they knew what they were doing, while USF’s team made a few amateur mistakes that resulted in lost points.

The final score of the game was 55-13 in favor of Cal, but USF was not at all disheartened.

“We played a good game, showed a lot of improvement, but we need to work on fitness. Next year we’re going to be amazing,” said junior Jeremy Shorenstein, who plays the position of lock.

The team recently debuted a new website with videos, pictures, rosters and event times. You can check it out at www.usfrugby.com. If you’re interested in coming out for a game, here’s a listing of the remaining home games. You don’t have to go far, and afterwards there were hot dogs!

Santa Clara University
February 28 @ 1:00pm
Humboldt State University
March 14 @ 1:00pm
San Francisco State
April 25 @ 1:00pm

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