Men’s Rugby Improving in Jump to Division I-AA

Over the past three seasons, the Notre Dame College men’s rugby team has been dominant, as they boast an impressive 22-5 record over that span.

While their 6-2 record this season might seem merely mediocre for a team that is so accustomed to winning, the Falcons have been facing much tougher competition this season at the Division I-AA level.

For Rodney Thomas, a senior who’s been with the team since their inception, it’s all about improvement.

“In rugby, it’s pretty rare for a team to come as far as we have in only four years,” Thomas said. “While we’re proud of what we’ve achieved in that time, our best accomplishment has yet to come. We are still in the making to become a great team.”

To see just how quickly the men’s rugby team is improving, look no further than their games against the University of Buffalo and West Virginia University over the past two seasons. Last year, Notre Dame lost to both of these schools in very tight battles. However, just one year later, the Falcons handled Buffalo 55-0 and West Virginia 54-15.

While Notre Dame has been thoroughly convincing in their first season in Division I-AA, they aren’t quite ready to dominate it the same way they did Division II. In a recent matchup against national powerhouse Davenport University, the team suffered their first loss of the season.

“Davenport was a reality check,” Thomas said. “During the match, we saw and felt the pressure of a Division 1-AA team. Now we must adapt and take it to the next level. There’s no shame in losing; it’s how we respond in the following games.”

The team responded well, bouncing back to defeat the University of Missouri-St. Louis by a score of 53-5.

“Our goal is to win the Division I-AA National Championship in the spring. Enough said there,” Thomas added.

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