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Not Champs, CSU Has Done Enough

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Not Champs, CSU Has Done Enough

Pinkleman is the most high-profile player on Colorado State, but not the only one making a contribution, Quirk Photography.

Colorado State won another game, but it wasn’t enough to put the Rams ahead of Air Force in the West DIA conference.

Still, it was enough to keep CSU ranked ahead of Air Force in USA Rugby’s DIA Top 20, which is voted on by a panel every week. It seems that the improvement from CSU this spring has been enough to get most voters (of which Goff Rugby Report editor Alex Goff is one) to rate the Rams ahead of the Zoomies. 

CSU captain Ben Pinkelman, who also has been playing with the Denver Barbarians and with the USA national team setup, said the performances have been better, but need to be better still.

“Yesterday we were disappointed with our result,” Pinkelman said of his team’s 50-24 defeat of Wyoming. “ We won but we could have done a lot better. We kept making these offloads when it wasn’t on. We were not being patient and we made some silly knock-ons. Losing possession like that is tough because we have the athletes to make things happen, and we’ve made a lot of strides since the beginning of the fall. But we have to improve our decision-making on attack.”

Pinkleman continues to be a huge presence for CSU and was named the game MVP by coach Justin Mort. Ollie Jenkins, flyhalf Lance Eberhard, and center Luke Engelbaupt. 

Prop Jaron Beerlire is smallish for a prop but produced some big runs up the middle. He hd work to do in the scrum, too as prop Jackson Brockway was lost with an injury. Fullback Liam Wynne broke several tackles and countered well.

:I am happy with the way things have gone for us this year,” added Mort. “The guys have stepped up to the plate and provided a lot of incredible rugby, both in attack and defense.”

The Rams may not have won their conference, but they almost certainly have done enough to warrant an invitation to the DIA playoffs.

“The guys are feeling confident and we should be,” said Pinkelman. “We have a lot of talent, and on our best day we can beat any team in the country - if we play our best game.”