Ohio State are still disappointed about their loss to Arizona in last year’s Collegiate Rugby Championship quarterfinals, a loss that handed the team an eighth place finish overall. The motivation to do better and knowledge of the other teams will serve them well this year when they play in possibly the tournament’s toughest pool. Eighth place was still further than many expected them to go, but this year the other teams will be ready and know what The Ohio State University is capable of.
Playing Cal in their opening match, the Buckeyes have several outstanding players, one of them being Nate Ebner, former USA U20 fullback and football player for Ohio State. Another is forward and team captain Chad Cochran.
“I would say the team is eager, motivated, excited to step up to the challenge that some of these great teams will give us,” Ebner said. “I think we all understand very well that these teams will be very good and we will have to bring our very best every time to get wins in this tournament.
“Don’t be surprised when Ohio State comes in early and makes a statement in pool play… I feel very good about this year’s team and I’m excited to see how we all do when the lights come on and it’s time to lay it on the line.”
“The first game will tell us a lot about how well we prepared,” Cochran added. “Right now we feel pretty confident in our players and our conditioning and that will hopefully lead to good things for us.”
Player Notes: Players on the OSU team seem to have a connection with at least one teammate. Jake Edsinger and Chad Cochran both come from families with multiple siblings who players high school rugby for Westerville. JB Strahler came to 7s this spring after Nate Ebner (who, by the way, is on the cover of the current Rugby Magazine) took him to see the USA 7s in Las Vegas. Gareth Willatt, Luke Hickey and Jason Suhy all credit Ireland in some way, shape, or form for their love of the game.
Ad Ebner – one of the faces of the CRC, Ebner grows a beard specifically for the tournament.