The Columbus, Ohio branch of Tiger Rugby won this past weekend's Larrimer Cup Men’s 7s in dominating fashion, sweeping 1823, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and the Renegades for a 5-0 day.
Head Coach Paul Holmes was pleased with his team’s success on set pieces, an area that improved from a week before in Louisville. He also noted that his team kept good defensive shape and did not allow any long-range tries.
Although Tiger Rugby’s defensive shape was strong, Holmes said that the team must improve shape and structure with ball in hand. This is a group that has not played together very much.
“We have a lot of moving parts and new combinations in the early part of the season,” he said. However, with more time together, Holmes added, the team will get on the same page offensively.
Patience will help with a young Tiger squad that averages under 23 years of age.
“Some guys haven’t played a lot of rugby,” added Holmes.
Tiger’s most senior player is Michael Ziegler, who plays as a forward in 7s. He had a strong weekend distributing the ball, and his leadership is very important for this young team. Holmes also mentioned Trevor Tanifum, who was the top try-scorer in last year's CRC, playing for Maryland, was “absolutely phenomenal on offense.”
It would be easy for Tiger Rugby to get ahead of themselves after their success at the Larrimer Cup, but Holmes won’t allow his players to get ahead of themselves. “We have to take each game at a time. We can’t look ahead and predict,” he said.
But, this team will have a lot of time to train together, so he has high hopes for his team and what they can achieve by the end of the summer.