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WWU Impresses in Opener

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WWU Impresses in Opener

Western Washington U

Western Washington University is back.

After making the 2012-13 DIAA semifinals, the Vikings were hit by injuries and graduations and players moves, and dropped down in the standings. This year, after two years of recruiting local high school talent, they opened their Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference season with a 56-0 defeat of Western Oregon.

The game was also meaningful in another way, as it was WWU Rugby’’s first appearance at the schools new Robert S. Harrington field, a new stadium built for soccer, lacrosse and rugby, and an impressive setting for the game in Bellingham.

WWU were led by a solid defense. Even as the young team is still working through sticking with the team’s new offensive pattern, they held out a physical WOU team.

“Western Oregon has some big, athletic kids,” said WWU Head Coach Paul Horne. “If our defense had had any weaknesses they would have scored.”

Offensively, the Vikings got big games from their midfield pairing of Nick Bonovich (a product of Dixon HS in California), and Ryan Glendenning (Budd Bay U19s, Olympia, Wash.). Each scored at least two tries.

Lou Henson surges ahead for WWU Saturday.
Lou Henson WWU Rugby

“Nick has really come along,” said Horne. “Last year we asked a to of him because we wanted him to play fullback, scrumhalf, flyhalf, even hooker. We had to, but it’s good to put him in at center.”

Captain Lou Henson (Rainier Plateau, Auburn, Wash.) was a powerhouse in the forwards and gave his team plenty of go-forward. Sam Carroll (Tacoma U19s), who played both flanker and hooker, was solid in both positions.

“Sam was very unselfish and he set up at least three tries,” said Horne.

WWU lost Giovanni Trujillo to an injury Saturday, and already have had to change their plans at flyhalf  due to injury as well.

But they performed well enough.

“It was a first game of the season, with a lot of mistakes,” said Horne. “We scored early but we left a few tries out there. The pattern is new to the kids and showing the discipline to stick with that pattern is a challenge for them.”

Next up for WWU is a visit to Oregon in Eugene, Ore.