You don’t have to wait for the Rugby World Cup this fall to get your fix of the majestically violent sport. The Ohio Wesleyan Rugby program is hosting tournaments, winning them and taking no mercy.
The inaugural Middleton Hopps Bishop Cup 7s Tournament took place Saturday, April 25. Both the men’s and women’s team participated, and both hoisted the trophy.
OWU hosted teams from Ohio Northern University and Denison University. The tournament style was 7s, which is played with only 7-a-side and for a shorter period of time. As opposed to the typical fifteen per side.
Because of the smaller squads, the OWU men’s team was able to divide into two separate teams.
Captain Carlos Jackson, a sophomore, had high hopes for both teams entering tournament play.
“I expected both OWU teams to be in the finals, we’ve been working hard in practice and it ended up being just like one in the end. I felt bad for the other teams because at the end it was just us playing each other,” Jackson said.
The event went very smoothly overall, despite the 40 degree and rainy weather. Some could say it was perfect rugby weather, others like the captain of the women’s team, sophomore JT Knoble, would disagree.
“Despite the rain and the horrible weather, the tournament was a huge success. All of the teams involved had a good time. It was really awesome for both teams to bring home their own trophy.”
There’s more rugby to come and they used this tournament to help prepare for upcoming events, like the National Finals.
“Our goal was to play together as a team as we prepare for the National Finals at West Academy in NY this weekend.”
The hope is to have The Middleton Hopps Bishop 7s Tournament become a yearly event, increasing in size and participation each year.
Middleton Hopps helped out with setting up the women’s rugby program at Ohio Wesleyan.