The Pacific Northwest DII club season has, as usual, started quietly. Defending champs Snake River have only played the one game, and that one was a really close one, and that perhaps reminds everyone how competitive this group of teams is.
|Smart Club, Winning Club|
Sometimes we at RUGBYMag like to point out smart little things clubs do. In this case, the Portland Rugby Club in Oregon decided to show off their brand-new kit by having regular team-members pose in uniform, smiling, tossing a ball around, and generally looking snappy.
The photos are on a slide show on their website (see url below), and serve to a) showcase the sponsors for their men's and women's teams (something far too many clubs forget to do), and b) show how the men and women are together as one club as happy regular guys who just want to play rugby.
It's a little thing, but it's the sort of thing any club can do to look a little more professional, a little more accessible, and a little smarter.
With the guys in Idaho still waiting to get into full playing rhythm, the top spots in the North and South are held by the Eastside Axemen (East Side of the Seattle area, is what that means), who are undefeated, and the Portland Pigs in Oregon.
The Pigs might be considered the stronger team at the moment simply because the South conference has held sway over the North for the last couple of years. Certainly they have a lot to be happy about, having expanded into DIII as well and brought a women’s team into the fold.
“We are really proud of our club atmosphere here,” said Head Coach Derek Jensen. “It’s not just about one team.”
The top men’s team, though, is 3-0 and looks to play Portland-area rivals ORSU this weekend.
“This is always a big game,” said Jensen. “Nothing quite excites everyone on the club like playing ORSU. We play them again next month, so it’s going to be intense.”
Led by captain Zeke Camusio in the centers, and with an influx of some talented collegians such as Josh Duchene and recently-injured Andrew O’Connor, Portland runs the ball with enthusiasm and runs opponents into the ground.
“Our backline has coalesced nicely,” said Jensen. “And Zeke does a really good job organizing them. But we’ve got good forwards, too. They are generally smaller-sized than other packs, but they are really mobile and it allows us to bring a wide open attack.”
The result has been three victories and 134 points scored. And many feel that until they face off with Snake River in the spring, it will be more of the same this fall.