GLENDALE, Colo. – The moment finally arrived when the dedication and preparation paid off for Franciscan University’s rugby team. Displaying the best rugby seen in the program’s 11 years, the Barons defeated the University of North Florida Deadbirds 29-5 in the third place match of the National Small College Rugby Organization national championship finals.
The Barons are now No. 3 in the nation.
The entire match was a hard-fought battle, but after Saturday’s semifinal loss to Salve Regina University (29-20),the Barons were refocused and ready to win.
“They (UNF) were a good team,” said senior co-captain David Cup. “It can be difficult to focus on the whole field, but we concentrated on spreading out and defending laterally and vertically. We had to keep in mind everything we learned in practice.”
Head coach Mark Hanrahan noted just that. “The guys were resilient today. They came out and played the type of rugby they knew they could play; the way we taught them and the way they’ve played all year.”
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