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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Women's club rugby team holds Ruggerween fundraiser

The both college and high school players participated in the match.

Nov. 3, 2009

Saturday, the MU women's club rugby team held its first ever Ruggerween fundraiser, where they played a match dressed in Halloween costumes.

The match featured the Missouri team as well as players from local high schools, dressed in a variety of costumes ranging from the The Incredibles to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

"A lot of clubs around the country play games in costumes for Halloween, and in Prom dresses in the spring," Team President Megan Holly said. "We decided to try this and also want to try that in the spring."

Due to bad weather conditions that closed the pitch at Epple Field, the fundraiser was held at the soccer field at the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail entrance at Scott Boulevard.

The field cannot be used for an official rugby match because there are no goalposts. The men's rugby game that was supposed to follow the Ruggerween fundraiser had to be canceled due to the closure.

This is not the first time Missouri rugby games have been canceled due to a field closing at Epple Field. Both the men and women's teams have had to cancel several games and practices that were to be held there this season.

"It's really frustrating," captain Alison Hays said. "They try to keep the integrity of the field pristine. It's hard to work around and it's frustrating because we are the only teams that use it."

Despite the frustration about having to change the venue at the last minute, the Ruggerween match provided a fun way for players to stay loose for the big matches they will play in November.

The match was very much geared to be a learning experience for the high school girls. Players were split up so that each team had both Missouri and high school players, and play was stopped every twenty minutes so high school players could ask questions and learn more about the game.

"It was really, really good to get the high school girls to play a game," Hays said. "It was a great learning opportunity for them, and it also gave us a chance to fine tune our skills."

Very few players on Missouri have played rugby for more than a year, so extra practice is always beneficial for them.

The high school players were also very pleased with the experience.

Rachel Britton, from Helias High School in Jefferson City, scored two tries in the match.

"I felt privileged to be able to play with the college girls, and even more so to know that I can play with them and score," Britton said.

Through the first two months of the season, the Tigers have won three of their five matches, including an exciting victory over Oklahoma State.

The next two weeks feature important matches for Missouri, first at Kansas this Saturday, and then back home against Truman State on Nov. 14.

"Oklahoma State and Truman State are usually very good, but obviously our big game is the one against (Kansas)," Holly said.

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