Patrick Brophy, a Law School international exchange student from Ireland, currently plays for the University of Minnesota Men's Rugby Club Team. Below, Brophy talks about his experience playing on the team and how they're doing this season.
From Brophy April 12, 2011:
The autumn season began in August 2011 with two practices every day in the scorching Minnesota heat, something I was not used to coming from Dublin. Our season started on a sour note when we suffered defeats in the final of the Minnesota All State Tournament and then lost to bitter rival Madison in the semi-finals of the Big 10 tournament held at Notre Dame. However we took the positives from these narrow losses and we started the Midwest League well with bonus point victories against Stout, UNI and Iowa. These victories were followed by an exhibition game at the TCF Bank Stadium where we defeated Nebraska 68-19, which was one of the highlights of the year. However another loss to Madison on the road in Wisconsin meant we had to travel to Wisconsin for the midwest playoffs. In the first round of the playoffs we let a heavy lead slip and just managed to scrape past Stout. After Stout we faced Madison for a 3rd time this season with the winner being awarded with a berth in the National 16. With two loses already against Madison we were underdogs heading into the game. However in sport anything can happen and we managed to put together our game of the season and overcame the odds with a 30-22 victory and we were awarded with the opportunity to play for the national title in May.
Playing rugby with the U of M rugby team this year has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my year abroad. I was able to visit different parts of America that I never thought I would ever visit and also enjoy a few “quiet” beers with the team after our wins. I must point out that rugby is only a club sport at the U of M, which means the coaches give up their own personal time to look after and coach the team which says a lot about their enthusiasm and dedication to the sport.
At present we are preparing to compete in the first round of the National 16 which will be hosted in Minnesota at the National Sports Center in Blaine from April 29th – May 1st. We could use as much support as possible.
To see more photos of the University of Minnesota Men's Rugby Club Team, visit http://www.dropkickphotos.com/University-of-Minnesota-Rugby/.