This past Saturday was at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts throughout the week. Our first home game at North Field, our first Big Ten game, against our instate rivals no less. For some girls it was their first taste of rugby. But the morning dawned warm and sunny as the Wolverines took the field, looking for their first victory. And Michigan came out ready to compete for that Big Ten Title. Scoring quickly off some great offloading and broken tackles was Aunnica O’Brien. The team was looking hot on offense with some good kicking by Sara Nagy who saw an open backfield pretty often. Ashley Henk gets the second try of the day as the forwards take a piece of the action. But some great ball movement wide later allowed Kelsey Aiken on the wing to get her first try! After that we lost two backs to injuries but some moving around the line still allowed the Wolverines to keep their structure as flanker Jenny Ledezma moved into the center spot and had quite a few breaks on the day. Shaina Warner ends the scoring for the half with a try off a pig. While there were many good things about the day, the only bad thing that affect the team was the lack of intensity when they got too comfortable with their lead. This affected them in the second half when they allowed MSU to score and also gave them a few too many breaks that were luckily saved with some good defense by our newest Spanish fullback Simoneta Laviana Suarez. We scored twice more, one from Deycha Robinson off a quick tap-and-go. Sarah “Killer” Yaqub ended the game with a quick diving try as the final whistle blew.
Our B-side game went just as well with UM rookies and reserves coming out with a three-to-one try victory over MSU’s B-Side in a 20-minute half game with uncontested scrums. This game brought us to the realization that we need to start integrating our rookies into our structure and let them start to vie for a starting spot.
Michigan-32 Michigan State-5
Tries: O’Brien, Aiken, Henk, Warner, Robinson, Yaqub