The Mens Division I College Rugby playoffs were being played this past weekend.  One of the rounds of the Sweet 16 was played in Blaine, Minnesota at the National Sports Center.  I don’t normally follow the sport of rugby, but I have a nephew that plays for the Kansas State/Fort Riley Rugby Football Club.  The team was ranked 9th in the country and had earned a spot in the playoff rounds.  With family traveling north to Minnesota to enjoy the weekend playoffs we were looking forward to spring weather and good competition.  Saturday’s schedule had the University of Minnesota playing the University of Davenport, and Kansas State University playing Texas State University.  Under a torrential downpour and strong winds, the teams battled each other as well as the elements.  Kansas State University and the University of Davenport advanced to play one another Sunday for the opportunity to travel to the finals in California in two weeks.  While everyone thought the elements couldn’t be much worse than Saturday, Sunday’s games were played in a bone-chilling 35 degree temperature with steady winds of 25+ mph howling across the fields.  The fans’  rain gear, boots, and umbrellas that were required for Saturday’s games were traded in for layers of long underwear, multiple coats, gloves, hats, blankets, and scarves.  Both teams played hard and long, and in the end the University of Davenport won, 44-5.  I admire the effort and the conditioning required for rugby, and I would have loved to see the Kansas State University team advance to the Final Four, but they can be proud of their record and their accomplishments this year.

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