Column: Rugby fans please stand up

The women’s rugby team is easily the most successful sports team at Eastern,but their success goes largely unrecognized. The Panthers seemingly never lose,but the crowd is almost completely made up of family members and friends of the players. The lack of fans puzzles me because other teams around Eastern struggle on a year-to-year basis but still have thousands of fans in attendance.

Since 2007, the women’s rugby team has compiled a record of 44-3 for a winning percentage of .94 percent. Over that same period of time, the football team has compiled a record of 24-30 for a winning percentage of .44 percent. Although the football team has stumbled across hard times, the fans continue to file into O’Brien Field on a week-to-week basis even though the odds are that Eastern will come up short and notch another loss. I’m not trying to rip on the football team, but considering that the football team is the most popular team on campus, I must compare their success over the past four seasons.

Other athletic teams at Eastern have had success over the past four years, but no team can boast the record that the women’s rugby team can. I realize that the women’s rugby team plays the majority of their schedule against club teams, but the amount of success they have had should not go unrecognized. The women’s rugby team is a NCAA Division-I program and will continue to play more D-1 games as the sport continues to grow.

The fist collegiate rugby game was played at Lakeside Field and I feel like that should mean something to the student community. The Panthers are paving the way for the sport of rugby and are easily the best team in the nation.

They have recorded perfect seasons in 2008 and 2009, and are on their way to recording another perfect season in 2011.

The Panthers are a fun team to watch and I suggest that every student at Eastern should attend a rugby game. They routinely pick apart their opponents and frequently win games by 30 points or more. Rugby may be a confusing sport that many people are unfamiliar with, but I guarantee they will enjoy themselves as they watch the Panthers dominate their opposition.

The Panthers will be in action this homecoming weekend when they host the Northern Iowa Panthers on Sunday, Oct. 23. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.

Jordan Pottorff can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected].