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CWU Rugby is Headed Back to Texas

WRITTEN BY CODY SECKER / www.rugbymag.com

It didn’t take long to establish the dominant force at the NCRC 7s Tournament in Seattle this weekend. The Central Washington Wildcats, like they have done throughout the 7s season, had a mission and wanted to prove if anyone wanted a trip to the national championship, they had to go through them.

Geoff Vlcek photo
Geoff Vlcek photo / www.facebook.com/GVPhotography

Coming back as the defending NCRC 7s Championships from a year ago, CWU was the team that had the target on their backs. However, Head Coach Tony Pacheco and his players seemed at ease and confident from the beginning.

“They really brought it today and had some great training sessions,” Pacheco said. “They continue to work hard and getting better every day.”

Despite a bit of rust in their first game against Western Oregon in which they won 26-0, the Wildcats got back to their usual form in a 47-5 rout of the Oregon Ducks. From there it was all downhill for a Central team that features a talented roster.

Led by the eight tries of Shelby Williams, five from Jacob Bates and four from Tanner Barnes; the Wildcats feasted on the competition. After their dismantling of the Ducks, Central beat WSU and UW by a combined score of 114-0, cruising to the final match against Western Washington.

And with Western beating up Oregon pretty convincingly, but pulling out a victory in a thriller 22-17 over Oregon State, the Vikings looked a bit beat up for the final match. When the game kicked off, CWU took the game as a bit of a rivalry and took it to the Vikings from the get go.

“This game is a rivalry in every sport that these two programs play against each other,” CWU coach Tony Pacheco said. “Western is a great program that is on the rise and are doing a lot of great things right now, we are happy that this rivalry has been renewed for years to come.”

From beginning to end, CWU played as consistently and balanced as they have throughout the entire NCRC season. Being patient with their patterns and staying focused on keeping their lanes defensively to make sure there little to no weaknesses that teams could take advantage to score.

A total of five different players scored in the final match and total of 12 scored throughout the tournament to further prove their supremacy. After the game, it was business as usual despite winning the NCRC cup and earning a trip to nationals in College Station, TX.

“It was an awesome feeling and I’m sure the entire team is excited,” Tanner Barnes said after the game, one of the guys Pacheco was quick to mention that had a great tournament. “We’ve still got a lot more work to do and get back to training for nationals in a month.

Geoff Vlcek photo
Geoff Vlcek photo / www.facebook.com/GVPhotography