Life Rugby Faces Tough Competition at CRC
Falling to Cal Berkley for Medal Contention
After months of buildup and preparation, LIFE Rugby took to the field in Philedelphia to compete in the College Rugby 7s Championship. Alongside them were big names in rugby including Penn State, Dartmouth, Maryland, and Cal Berkley, just to name a few. 16 teams would face off in 32 matches, all in an attempt to win this championship. If LIFE walked away with the win, they would be the first team in history to win the “Triple Crown” in college rugby 7s. The first challenge LIFE faced was Penn State, beating them 19-17 with the final try coming seconds after the game had technically ended (one of the many things that sets rugby apart from other sports). Next came Temple, who showed to be an easier win for LIFE as the Running Eagles walked away with a 33-7 win. Last up on the first day of competition came Wisconsin, who LIFE defeated with a final score of 36-12.
LIFE fans and supporters filled the stands, all wearing matching t-shirts and making their presence known! Over the years, LIFE rugby supporters have transformed from just a handful of loyal fans in the bleachers in Marietta to hundreds of faithful fans that traveled all the way to Philadelphia to support their school. Alumni from all over joined in as well, as did several faculty and administrators from LIFE. While LIFE may not be a big name school, compared to the others in the competition, they are well known for their fierce rugby play on the field. Many of the athletes from other schools, when interviewed by NBC commentators, commented on LIFEs performances and how they are really one of the teams to watch. Arizona’s star player, Peter Tiberio, commented that LIFE would bring their most fierce competition and it would take all they had in order to defeat them.
A few of the amazing LIFE U Fans in Philly
Rugby 7s is a face paced game with two seven minute halves. In normal rugby, the teams have 15 players facing off against each other. In 7s, you have seven players who are covering the same field of play, which is approximately 10 meters longer and roughly 20 meters wider than a standard football field. According to Diffen.com “Rugby is best described as a blend of the contact of American football, the running of soccer, and the transition of basketball.” Rugby 7s is a game of stamina and speed, with quick turnovers and quick scores.
The second day of competition started out fierce. LIFE first faced off with a 12-5 win against Delaware, setting LIFE up for the Quarterfinals. The commentators on NBC had great things to say about LIFE, often stating that LIFE was the favorite to win and discussing what an upset it would be to Dartmouth and Cal Berkley, both of which are rugby power houses. Our lesser known school next would face Arizona, who would prove to be the fiercest competition they’d faced so far. LIFE simply could not keep up with the speed and team work that Arizona and Tiberio would provide. After falling behind in the opening minutes, LIFE simply could not come back, although they made a hard push at the end but fell short. Ultimately, they succumbed to Arizona 19-12.
Cal Berkley faced off against Dartmouth, last year’s championship team, with Dartmouth taking the win, placing Cal Berkley and LIFE to face off for the 3rd place spot. Cal Berkley, however, proved to be too much for LIFE to handle and walked away with a 26-7 win. LIFE fought hard to gain possession and up until the final play, LIFE wasn’t about to give up, walking away in the 4th place position. Darmouth took 1st place for the 2nd year in a row, defeating Arizona in a VERY physical, emotional game, taking out several players for Arizona in the process due to injury.
A great tribute to the school, its fans and its players was a statement found on Facebook by a Philadelphia native who works at Philadelphia University in their Financial Aid. He stated “Went from never hearing of Life University to becoming a fan. What a great group of people and such ardent supporters of their Rugby team. Their passion rivals that of any major program. In two days, every person I met from this school just north of Atlanta, GA in Marietta was so pleasant and really made working seem like I was at a good friend’s party.” While LIFE may have not walked away with the title, this tournament really put LIFE on the map!
Congratulations to Dan Payne, Tui Osborne and all the LIFE rugby players! You’ve had a great season and we are all proud to be called LIFE RUNNING EAGLES!!!