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Opening Weekend For Men College Teams

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Opening Weekend For Men College Teams

It's preseason rugby time and a few teams got some much-needed early action over Labor Day Weekend.

As we reported earlier, Iona College defeated Indiana 33-5 in Bloomington, IN. Meanwhile, Army took on AIC in what was billed by both sides as a scrimmage with a series of short-than-40-minute periods. Army outscored AIC in that meeting.

Iowa Centra Community College will be playing in the DII playoffs, but the Tritons' regular season is decidedly DI, with several DiAA and DIA opponents listed. Saturday ICCC beat Wisconsin 79-5. Head coach Brent Nelson said his team looked very balanced.

"We're always going to be young and always going to ave new gus so we work really hard at team chemistry and building that bond right away," said Nelson. "ur returners have welcomed the healthy competition and made the new guys feel at home."

That all starts with captain Rhys Smith, said Nelson.

Notre Dame College faced off with DIAA contender Western Michigan. NDC won 43-0. With some players back from injury and 25 recruits coming in, NDC has a lot of work to do to get everyone on the same page. This was a good start.

And Navy hosted Trinity, the rugby program from Dublin University. Trinity plays in the All Ireland club league and is a very strong team with a solid US connection. Trinity won fairly comfortably.

"We got exactly what we wanted from the game," said Navy head coach Gavin Hickie. "[This was] first-hand experience of a top international team playing very effective, efficient, and smart rugby at a pace we are not used to here in the States. Our referee, Mike O'Brien commented that it was one of the quickest games he has refereed. Lots of very good lessons in all areas of the game and we will become a much better team for this game."

Some new players showed well, including Lewis Gray and Ryan Bullock.