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A Weber State and Dixie State player both get their hands on the ball during the throw-in Feb 11. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

The Weber State University rugby team had their first home game of the season against a worthy opponent: Dixie State University. The game was held on Feb. 11 at the Ogden Sports Complex, located near 20th street, on Monroe Blvd.

Prior to Saturday’s game, the Wildcats have only had one other matchup against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in which the Wildcats dominated the Rebels, winning 31–7 in Las Vegas.

“We look to keep improving every day,” assistant coach Eddie Williams said.

The first half of the game consisted of a lot of hard-hitting battles between both Dixie and Weber State. However, the Wildcats made a few errors, resulting in them being down 18–6 after the first half.

“There were a lot of little mistakes that we as a team made in the first half,” rugby player Jack Berger said. “We had to work harder to get back at in the second half.”

After the break, the Cats went back to work with the mindset to win.

About halfway through the second half, and after Dixie State posted another seven points, the team turned it up a notch, scoring another 16 points to reach a one-point deficit to DSU.

“It was big for us to step up and start getting some points on the score board,” Berger said. “I was happy that a few of our guys stepped up and made an impact the second half.”

Going into the final minute of the game, the Wildcats had the ball just a few yards short of scoring the winning points. However, Dixie State’s defense shut the Wildcats down as time expired.

The final score was 23–22 in favor of Dixie State.

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A Weber State player gets pulled by his foot Feb 11 against Dixie State. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

Rugby player Victor Villenueva was happy with his team performed.

“Our defense was great today. We just need to improve on our offensive game,” Villenueva said. “Once we can execute some better offense, things will be better.”

Coach Williams said he is seeing some great improvement from past seasons and past games.

“Our expectations here are to be the best that we can be,” Williams said. “These guys are really starting to show improvements.”

Villenueva also saw improvements in Saturday’s game, but that does not mean there are not other things the team needs to work on.

“What we lacked today was offense,” Villenueva said. “Our defense can improve as well, but on that side of the ball, I think we did great.”

On the other hand, Berger believes the team did not perform to their full potential and needs to work on certain things before their next game.

“We played a little soft today; I saw improvements but its not enough to exceed our expectations,” Berger said. “ I know we are better than that, and we know we can improve. We just have to want it. “

The Wildcat rugby team will look to bounce back and hop into the winning column this Saturday, Feb. 18 as they take on Utah Valley University in Ogden. The location and time is to be determined for Saturday’s matchup.

To stay up to date with the Weber State Rugby team, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/WeberRugby.

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