The Southern Nazarene University Women’s Rugby team is up for their second year as a program at this school, and they have done nothing but an exceptional performance so far. With the team being a new program and the majority of the girls being previously unfamiliar with the game of rugby, most would expect a not-so-great outcome for their beginning years. Instead, the team has shown the complete opposite! In just the past two years, the team has gone up against Texas A&M, Texas State, the University of Texas, Wayne State College, and many other big Division One colleges. In all those games, the SNU women’s rugby team came out on top!
This past weekend, the Southern Nazarene women’s rugby team played against their main rival, Texas A&M. This game was the Conference Championships and the game that determined who would punch their way into playing at nationals. The weather condition was not your typical “rugby playing weather” this weekend, so the nerves and intensity between both teams were high in the air. The heavy rain and cold weather could have been a factor in the game going downhill, but that did not get in the way of the SNU women’s gameplay. The women managed to maintain focus and remembered what was at stake–that nothing was going to get in their way of taking the victory against Texas A&M. The team did just that and came out with a massive win of 78-0!
After the game, I asked star player Ella Gilliland, who scored the most in tries and conversions, what she was feeling, and she responded, “I feel amazing and am proud of the way my team and I came out to play today, especially in the horrible weather conditions. It was the worst we’ve played in, but definitely the most fun!” I conversed with her a little more and she exclaimed, “We’re going to nationals, baby!”
I then spoke to Coach Gilliland and asked him what his feelings were on the win, and he instantly said, “It feels amazing. The girls played a hard and great game!” I then asked him how it felt to win conference championships for the second year in a row. Coach Gilliland responded, “It feels good to come back and secure the trophy for sure! It took a lot of work, and we still have more work to do! Next stop is nationals!”
The Southern Nazarene Women’s Rugby team has done great things in their program and will continue to greatness as they work hard and play at nationals next month!
Photo by Salesi Uhatafe (a parent of a player)