Bulls rugby staying positive in spring

The Truman State University men’s club rugby team has tried to stay positive this spring semester after many complications, ranging from roster turnover to game cancellations.

After starting the fall with 23 players, the spring season began with only 17. Senior Torin Halbert said following the first game this semester, the team had three injuries — with two players unable to return this semester. Three players left the team or transferred.

The Bulls have had to adjust their schedule too. Their first game was supposed to happen March 10 against Oklahoma State University, but this match was rescheduled because Truman lacked a complete roster. On March 24, the Bulls were scheduled to play University of Central Missouri, but this game was canceled because UCM didn’t have enough players.

Instead of playing UCM, Truman played the Columbia Outlaws, a community men’s club open to experienced and inexperienced players in Columbia, Missouri. Junior Connor Flairty said it was a tough match the team lost, but the players learned a tremendous amount to help prepare for the rest of the spring.

“Men’s clubs play with so much more intensity and experience, [than university teams] so it really brought all the players back up to speed and readied them for the rest of the season,” Flairty said.

Captain Torin Halbert said a main focus for the team this spring is building a foundation of players. With the injuries and transfers, Halbert said the team is trying to recruit and build for the future so for the program can continue with ease.

Flairty said the team is still committed to playing despite difficulty finding players.

“Spirit and morale never falters,” Halbert said. “We’re here for each other and the team as a whole, but we’re always looking for new players to join the club. Anyone that wants to try the sport out is more than welcome to come out and try.”

The Bulls will take on Iowa State University this weekend in Kirksville, Missouri. The team will then switch from 11-player rugby to sevens rugby April 7 for University of Northern Iowa’s Collegiate Cup. Its opponents will be University of Northern Iowa and Oklahoma State University as a rescheduled game.