Griz Rugby, formerly the Jesters, took the field wearing University of Montana maroon and silver for the first time yesterday in a scrimmage against fellow Missoula team, the Maggots.
The Maggots, the men's adult team, and Griz Rugby, the UM club team, practice together regularly. The scrimmage was a friendly match to test the teams' strength before the fall season starts.
Griz Rugby scored two tries but missed its accompanying goal kicks for a total of 10 points. The Maggots scored upward of 10 tries, blowing the younger Griz away.
A try is made when the player brings the ball into the in-goal areas behind the goal post and touches it to the ground. Unlike football, the ball must be placed on the ground purposefully for a try to be scored, rather than just carried. Once a try has been scored, the scoring team can take a kick in a position perpendicular from where the try was scored. Successfully getting the kick between the goal posts earn the team two more points.
Despite the heavy scrimmage loss, Griz captain Sam Hathcock was hopeful for Griz Rugby's season, describing the last two years as a reboot. The team has quite a few rookies this year who are still learning the game.
"This was our first time playing together as a team ... We have fresh ideas and are doing some things differently than past years," said Hathcock. "There's stuff to improve upon and iron out, but we are just getting started."
He is hopeful that the increase in new players means a reboot for Griz Rugby, who are working to become a more official and stronger club team. Hence, the new colors.
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Griz Rugby's Troy Magee runs forward, toward the Maggots' defense. In rugby, the player with the ball can carry it until tackled. When the player goes down (indicated by a knee hitting the grass) that player must pass, push, or shove the ball to a teammate who can continue to advance the ball. This often results in a ruck, where teammates work to protect the ball until one of them can pick it up to advance it.
Griz jumper Chris Kaminsky, right, battles the Maggots opponent for the ball after it's thrown in on a line-out. A line-out occurs when the ball goes out of play on the sideline. It is generally thrown in by the team that did not put it out of play. A player attempts to throw it to a teammate being lifted up by several other players. The two being lifted (the jumpers) battle for the ball but cannot purposefully knock one another down.
Griz Rugby's substitute players wait on the sideline, watching their teammates battle for control of the ball during a line-out. When players needed a rest or got injured, the substitute players subbed in.
Griz player Chris Kaminsky loses position of the ball after a tackle from a Maggots opponent. His teammates Josiah Gilbert, left, and Ashton Baird, right, arrive to help maintain control of the ball.
Griz Rugby's Josiah Gilbert listens to the referee's tips for the team during the break at halftime.
Griz player Troy Magee makes his way through tackle attempts, carrying the ball through the Maggots defense.
Griz captain Sam Hathcock debriefs the team, keeping it strict but positive after the heavy scrimmage defeat by the Maggots. Hathcock emphasized the lessons the team could learn from the scrimmage and the experience the rookies gained from it.
A Maggots player looks for a teammate's help after being brought to the ground by the Grizzlies' defense.
A Maggots runner reaches to catch a pass from a teammate under heavy pressure from Griz defense.
Grizzly Chris Kaminsky dropkicks the ball downfield.
Griz Rugby's Daniel Parsons gets ready to tackle a Maggots player who made it through his teammates' tackle attempt.
A scrum-half feeds the ball into a scrum. A scrum is a set-play that allows the safe restart of play after a minor infraction. Both teams' eight forward players bind together to form the play. The scrum-half feeds the ball into the gap between the two teams and their front-most players compete to hook the ball backward with their feet towards their teammates while the teammates push against the opposition to move them backward from the ball. The scrum-half follows the ball backward, hoping to grab it after it comes out of the back of the play.
The teams shake hands after the match. The Maggots and Griz Rugby often practice together and learn from each other, so the scrimmage was less competitive than it was a learning experience before the real season begins.
The team regroups after the match, discussing the lessons they learned and what they will do going forward into the season.