Rugby team stands its ground
Rookies get learning experience in 95-0 victory over hope
A 95-0 differential may not exactly be the final score of an edge-of-your-seat rugby match, but a
bold statement was made: The Grand Valley State University men’s club rugby team is a force to be
Although Hope College was never considered a legitimate threat to the Lakers (due to the fact they
are a newer addition to the world of college rugby), the Lakers viewed the match as a vital learning
opportunity for the more competitive meets ahead. It was a chance for the rookies to improve
before they got to a point where a few honest mistakes could really throw off a match against
These include teams such as Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, Davenport
University—who the Lakers are facing Wednesday—and Ferris State University a few weeks down the
Dave Diese was a contributor to the team’s victory and is an athlete who, according to coach John
Mullett, opposing players find very difficult to compete against due to his extreme physical fitness.
“A lot of our new guys came together in our backline,” Diese said. “They were performing very well
which is something we have been struggling for.”
With the improvement of the rookies came vital communication between players, which Diese said
is something they as a team have been working on perfecting for some time.
“When we had a problem, we would bring it right up and it would be fixed immediately,” Diese said
about his teammates’ improved communication.
GVSU’s team wasn’t the only one that benefitted from the match. Mullett said Hope College’s rugby
team made sure to thank their opponents because it helps them to improve and to see how it’s
Dallas Davis, a promising athlete returning to the team for his second year, takes great pride in his
team and has hope in the future of his sport.
“Today got a lot of new guys playing experience that was much needed, and it’s looking good for
the future of Grand Valley Rugby,” Davis said. “New players or old, it all comes down to raw talent
and the willingness to improve with everything you have that will make or break you on this team.”
Being a smaller team this year has lead to a close-knit bond between rookies and old pros alike.
“We supported each other today in going into tackles and things like that,” Diese said.
Mullett, who saw this match as merely a warm-up before the actual trial, knows his team has
potential—potential that can’t be held back by Division II teams who barely offer competition.
“It’s a little tough to get up to playing competitively quickly,” Mullett said, adding that his team is
out to improve and that can only be achieved through tough competition. “We have a lot of
improving to do ourselves, and that’s why it is a good thing we have Davenport this coming week
because they are better than us quite frankly, and that means we can learn from them and improve
off of them.