Michigan’s Oakland University Rugby Club became champions overnight as they went undefeated in the Snow Bowl. The Snow Bowl is an amateur rugby tournament that colleges participate in. The competition was held at Western University, MI.
“Everybody played hard. They put heart into it,” said Billy Jacobs, an Oakland rugby player.
Oakland played three games and went undefeated. Randall Owens, an Oakland rugby player, said that each game was a challenge. No players had proper gear to play rugby. Each player was playing rugby out of the love for the game. Owens and Jacobs said that the weather was unbelievably cold.
“It was very cold, below freezing. You had to keep warm,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs said there was at least two feet of snow on the field which lead to a lot of fun. Team members were slipping and sliding as they were tackled down into the freezing snow.
Owens said he could not feel his toes at one point but he did admit that some teammates drank well before the game. Many of Oakland University teammates were buzzed if not drunk. Owens believes that drinking may have been a factor in not only keeping members of the team warm but winning as well. Other teams did have members buzzed but each team still played their best.
Out of their three games Jacobs and Owens said that one game was the hardest. That game was versus a neighboring rugby team from Illinois. Although Oakland did win Owens said that the Illinois team was clearly there to win. Members from each team were being tossed around like rag dolls and they were charging at each other at full force.
Owens said his worse hit was when he was tackled by a huge guy that knocked him back a few feet. He said it hurt a lot and did not like the fact that some players played more dirty. One opponent kneed Owens’s chin as he was getting up from a tackle. He said that he seriously thought his chin moved two inches to the left. Owens said that it was all in good fun and worth the beating to become champions. In the end Oakland won 5-3.
Oakland’s team was then presented with the Snow Bowl trophy, which was a toilet seat. Owens describes the trophy as nothing special. He said it was a plain toilet seat with Snow Bowl Champions written in marker.
“We play for this because we can and it gives us an excuse to drink,” said Jacobs
Randall and Jacobs said that Oakland’s team is a great group of guys and although the Snow Bowl is just for fun it is worth it.
“This is just for fun. Doesn’t count but a good time,” said Jacobs. “One player dressed up as the cat in the hat. He had the hat and bow tie. It was pretty funny”
Jacobs voted Randall as team MVP.
“Randall kicked some butt. He’s hardcore,” said Jacobs.
Owens not only played his heart out but drove a third of the team to the game. Randall also works out at a gym to keep himself in shape for the games. Jacobs said that Owens is fast and a great teammate.
After the tournament was over everybody went to a rugby bar called Big Ruggers Up and Under. Because of the entrance fee of $30 for the tournament there was a never ending feast as Owens put it. From beer to pizza there was everything. Jacobs said the never ending beer was the best thing.
“There was enough food to have a third helping,” said Owens.
Overall Oakland has 15 regular team members and a few that only show up during game time. Jacobs does admit that this can get annoying but what can you do? Oakland practices two times a week.
Oakland’s Rugby Club hopes to defend its reputation at a different tournament at Ruckcity Kalamazoo ,MI. Owens said that he sees the same school s participate in all of the tournaments. Oakland’s club sees this as chance to defend its title.