Men’s rugby struggles at Siena, suffers first defeat in two years

The Oswego State men’s rugby team has been handed its first regular season loss since fall of 2007, and it came in very dramatic fashion, as they fell 10-7 to Siena College.

The game started off slowly for the Wizards, and Siena was the first to score off a lineout into a maul taken into the try zone. Less than five minutes into the game, the wizards were on their backs after nearly every play. This would be the case all game long, and at the half the Wizards found themselves down 7-0.

The second half started much like the first; Oswego State spent most of their time losing possession of the ball on penalties. At one point, the Oswego State sideline erupted in outrage over a called made against the Wizards.

"Although it was some of the worst officiating I have ever seen, we still had chances that we didn’t take advantage of," captain Chris Thompson said.

Oswego State roared back, scoring and converting the extra point on a try by sophomore Connor Murphy. Although it was his first career score, there was no time to celebrate. With less than ten minutes left in regulation, it was a battle. Tied at seven, both teams and sidelines were screaming. Siena had good ball movement and was driving into the try zone, but Oswego State’s defense kept them from scoring. Then, a penalty on Oswego State gave Siena the opportunity to kick with three minutes left. They converted, giving them a 10-7 lead with very little time remaining.

Oswego State kicked off, recovered possession and marched down the field very quickly. They pounded the ball and got closer and closer to the try zone. As they entered the try zone to win the game, the referee called the ball held up; this resulted in a scrum at the five-meter line. As fans from both sidelines were on their feet, the ball was called down directly out of the scrum, giving Siena the victory.

The Wizards are now 1-1, with what could be the most important game of the season coming this weekend at Hamilton.

"Even though we lost, we didn’t give up. We have a lot of work to do before Hamilton, but I think we can win.," captain Jason McGuckin said.

This game can make or break the season for the Wizards, and it is a must win in order to make the playoffs.