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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Moosemen rugby prepare for Fighting Carp

The Moosemen club rugby team was unable to wrest a top seeding from UW-Platteville last weekend, but they are still heading to the Midwest Rugby Football Union playoffs. The game against Platteville was to determine who would enter the Midwest playoffs seeded first and second, and NMU came up short, losing to the Pioneers 24-12.

The game continues a run of poor performances against Platteville by the Moosemen, as they lost to the Pioneers in the first round of the 2007 playoffs.

Player and team coach Will Thompson believed it was one of team’s worst games this season.

“It was probably the worst game we played this year. They matched us pretty well on our forwards,” he said. “We were slow getting the breakdowns, [and] our defense was getting sucked in and they were beating us around the edge. Really, those two things are the reason we lost.”

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Thompson also said the Moosemen might have approached the game with the wrong attitude.

“We got kind of lax throughout the entire game,” he said. “I think we underestimated their back line a bit, and we haven’t really been matched in our forwards. We did alright when we got the hang of it, but it kind of surprised us from the beginning of the game. They came out and just gave it to us for a while . and we couldn’t come back.”

Despite the loss, the game did prove useful in that it showed the Moosemen where their weaknesses are.

“It was kind of good in the fact that we’ve only played one bad game all year, so it was pretty clear what we did wrong,” Thompson said. “It should be easy to fix it when we go to the Midwest Tournament.”

For the first round of the playoffs, the second-seeded Moosemen will travel to Minneapolis, Minn. to face off against the St. Cloud State University Fighting Carp.

Several experienced seniors on the team have been to the playoffs with NMU before. They will try to keep the team focused on the tasks at hand. One such player is Mark Trinkle.

“Like every other year, [we will] go into it having a good time with the team,” Trinkle said. “[We will] go into the playoffs just like a regular game, taking it just one step at a time.”

Trinkle said the key to victory will be in focusing on smaller aspects of the game.

“I would say more or less trying to do everything right,” he said. “Knowing what to do in situations, knowing to kick or not to kick, knowing when to pass, when not to pass, doing the little things to help break out the big things.”

The upcoming match will have special significance for Trinkle and the other seniors, as it is their final chance to win a championship with the Moosemen.

“It’s very important to prove myself more and more to the guys . it’s pretty big to me,” he said. He knows the team will be successful after he leaves, however. “We have good players who can fill behind, so I’m not really worried too much about it.”

Should the Moosemen beat the Fighting Carp, they will play against the winner of the contest between St. John’s University in Minnesota and Western Illinois, both No. 1 seeds for their region.

Despite the prospect of playing some very successful teams, Thompson is confident in his team.

“I imagine we’ll get our game together and just go play some rugby,” he said.

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