They had already been a tough way to out the Northwest Collegiate Rugby Championships for the Oregon State Beavers.
Having played arch-rival Oregon, a rugged and always dangerous Eastern Washington Eagles squad and much improved Western Washington team; Oregon State took a different approach to playing the Eagles yet again. It worked, with the Beavers taking third place with a 20-10 victory over the Eagles.
“I called it my all over 200 pound squad,” OSU head coach Mark Webber said with a laugh. “More of player’s we use for 15’s, but they played with a lot of physicality and came out on top.”
Physicality would be an understatement, for both teams. In a game where space and pace are the ingredients for success, this one was played with brute force. Broken tackles took the place of breakaways and most of the scores were from inside the 20-meter line.
Both teams got their share of scores and seemed to keep pace with each other throughout the match. Oregon State crossed the end line with four scores from Logan McCallum, Cameron McDonnell, Clancy Smith and Dakota Parker. EWU got scores from Jacob Christensen and Cameron Bowers to keep from being shut out.
It was a good game, but from the Oregon State sideline, there is a lot of room for improvement for a couple of pretty good reasons.
“Most of these guys have never played sevens before and are learning on the fly,” Webber said, adding that their 17-10 loss to Western was a close one. “The game against Western was really anyone’s game and I would’ve like to see what we could do against [tournament power] Central, but all-in-all these guys did a good job and will continue to improve next weekend at the [Pacific Coast 7s].”