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UWW Dominates in WIIL, But Rivals Remain

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UWW Dominates in WIIL, But Rivals Remain

Whitewater put up 100 on Platteville. Veronica Flores photo.

Wisconsin-Whitewater continues to dominate in the WIIL, posting big scores including a rout of a very tough Wisconsin-Milwaukee last week.

The Warhawks also hammered Marquette, and, this weekend, shut out UW-Platteville 100-0.

UWW Assistant Coach Matthew Pederson has several experienced players to call on, but he also doesn’t want his team to be complacent. He pointed out that last week UW-Milwaukee opened up the game by forcing a turnover near their own tryline and rumbling 95 meters to score.

That was a wakeup play, and continues to ask more of a team that could cruise through much of the season. The Whitewater scrum continues to set s good platform, and in part because the scrum has been so good, hooker Garrett Shibilski, who was such an impact in last year’s playoff run, has been moved to fullback.

“He is turning into a dynamic runner and one of our best defenders,” said Pederson. “The boys have come together real well.”

“[The coaches are] asking us to stay disciplined,” said Shibilski. “We’re used to winning, so what we need to do is work on ourselves. We’re fine-tuning our skills and we’re also using our pack more. They’re playing really well and while we’ve got a really strong backline, we know we’ll need to use our pack when we get to the playoffs.”

This despite the loss of four seniors to graduation and the loss of four-year starter Jack Healy to injury. Bad news for everyone else? Healy will return in a few weeks.

The road to the WIIL playoffs seems fairly clear with UW-Milwaukee out of the way. It’s worth noting that Milwaukee beat UW-Lacrosse 69-12 on Saturday and sit 2-1. But UW-M lost to UW-W 74-17 the week before - showing everyone just how strong Whitewater is.

All eyes, then, are on the October 22 matchup between Whitewater and Northern Michigan. NMU beat a resurgent UW-Stout 33-7 to move to 2-0. Their defense is solid - the only try they’ve given up so far was on a penalty try.

Still, this weekend Stout and NMU battled to a stalemate, 0-0, in the first half.  

“We had to move positions around before the game which contributed to some out-of-sync play,” said NMU club president and loose forward Rory McRae. “Once the second half came around we did a 180.”

Some fresh legs got the Moosemen going, too, and the forwards powered over some tries.

Logan Mate was outstanding at outside center and scored spectacular, length-of-the-field try.

“The score could have been higher,” said McRae. “We were slow to wake up.”

In the WIIL South, Northern Iowa beat DePaul 80-7, and Illinois State shut out Illinois-Wesleyan 75-0. UNI is 3-0, and starting to piece it all together. ISU is 2-0 and has not allowed a point yet.

“We’ve had a lot of different guys come in and we revamped our defense, and it’s turned out great so far,” said center and club president Will Blair. “It’s more of a zone defense and if a team makes a break we’re able to get back. The communication in our defensive line has been really good.”

ISU and UNI face off October 22, as well. Northern Iowa won the matchup last year, a game that decided who made the conference semis. ISU wants revenge.


WIIL Rugby Conference-North                
  W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
UW-Whitewater 3 0 0 244 27 217 3 0 15
UW-Milwaukee 2 1 0 168 91 77 2 0 10
Northern Michigan 2 0 0 72 7 65 2 0 10
UW-Stout 1 1 0 43 48 -5 1 0 5
Marquette 1 1 0 70 87 -17 1 0 5
UW-Lacrosse 0 3 0 27 144 -117 0 0 0
UW-Platteville 0 3 0 22 242 -220 0 0 0
WIIL Rugby Conference-South                  
  W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Northern Iowa 3 0 0 169 43 126 3 0 15
Illinois State 2 0 0 156 0 156 2 0 10
UIC 1 2 0 63 163 -100 1 0 5
Loyola 1 1 0 95 29 66 1 0 5
DePaul 0 2 0 7 161 -154 0 0 0
Illinois Wesleyan 0 2 0 22 116 -94 0 0 0