University of Oklahoma Rugby travels to Lubbock, TX tomorrow (11/11) to face Texas Tech Men’s Rugby in a Red River Rugby Collegiate Conference league match. Junior flanker and captain Logan Ronan and flyhalf and native South African Richard Papenfus shared some insights on the season thus far and how the Sooners have been preparing for Texas Tech.
Ronan began, “the season so far has gone well, we had two losses vs. Ohio State and Iowa State, but these games were just to get our season rolling and get some new players some experience. Since then we have really ramped up our trainings with much physicality, and have everyone on a workout program Monday through Thursday.”
Papenfus added, “since the start of August our team chemistry has improved quite a lot and it’s noticeable in the attitudes of the boys during practice. The timing is better, everyone knows their role and place, and it will certainly be noticeable when we start our league matches tomorrow.”
On the preparations for this week, Ronan said, it “has been a challenge. We lost our starting inside and outside centers, one being Jon Lucas, last week while playing the Dallas Harlequins U23. It’s been a setback, but we did secure a heavy victory (34-7).”
Ronan went on to describe the OU forward pack. “We have heavy reliance on forwards right now, having to put two back rows and a hooker in the backs because of the shortage. We still have a huge front row alone with a combined weight of about 750 lbs. Our back line has some key playmakers and leaders as well with Richard Papenfus and fullback Robert Hiles.”
Papenfus went into more detail for the backline. “Some strengths we have is a lot of speed. With guys like Najee Bissoon and Jon Lucas, who are unfortunately injured for the Fall, but will be back in the Spring.” He commented on their speedy defensive line and how the flow between the backline has been improving.
Ronan ended with a look into the future for OU Rugby. “Preparation for the Spring is just to win to get the ball rolling, we have about 15 players who will be back from injury and schooling breaks in the Spring so our team will look unbelievably different in the coming season.”
Oklahoma will play Texas Tech this Saturday, November 11 @ 1 pm CST.
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