Rugby teams compete in Beast of the East

Seven rugby fields are lined up side by side and from eight in the morning until six at night on Saturday there is nothing but rucking, scrumming, and tackling. This is Beast of the East and it is the largest rugby collegiate tournament in the world. The Castleton men’s and women’s rugby teams drove over five hours to Beast of the East in Rhode Island. Here they played two games each. Unfortunately, it was a long , windy and cold day and both teams lost both their games.

The women’s team ended up playing Rutgers, a school in a higher division than them which didn’t sit well with coach Megan Phillips.

“We should not have played them,” said Phillips after the loss.

But not everyone took it as hard.

Lani Willard, a senior player, thought it was a good learning experience and was great for the new players to experience this tournament. She just wishes the weather was better because of the long break in between their games in the cold.

Coach Sandy Stragnell or as his teams like to call him “Sandman” thought that overall the teams did well.

“It was a horrible, rotten, no good day but the teams kept their spirits up and did the best they could,” said Stragnell, “Our teams did not get demoralized because they were able to maintain a positive attitude.”

“I got to play rugby and that’s what makes me happy,” said Brooke Suprenant, women’s rugby president, trying to keep a positive attitude about the weekend.

Mark Manjuck, the President of the men’s team, said the men’s team did well and were just happy the school let them go to this event.

He explained that the men’s team had a lot of new players with little experience and it wasn’t that the other teams were better they were just bigger.

“We played hard and everyone did what they were supposed to do,” said Manjuck.

On the way home you would have never known that the teams lost with the amount of energy they came home with.

“They still made an old man happy,” said Stragnell.

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