Wheeling, W. Va. – Last weekend, the Wheeling University rugby team (4-2) were disappointed when their game against Kent State University was called off due to injuries. However, they are back home at Bishop Schmitt Field this week when they host Davenport University on Saturday at their annual “Ruck Cancer” event.
Wheeling will wear special pink jerseys for the event and hold raffles for various prizes throughout the match. All proceeds will go to charity as the team raises funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As they raise money for a good cause off the pitch, they’ll look to put on a show on the pitch as they return to face a D1AA opponent who will put them to the test. It’s been a while since rugby took the pitch, with its last game being on October 2, when the team moved to take on the military.
It was a hotly contested game for the Cardinals, but they will eventually drop 31-14. However, it was a day of firsts for two members of the Wheeling Rugby team, casting a positive light on the outing. First-year student Navin sofa scored his first college try in the game, and second Michael muleya scored his first try of the fall 2021 season. Sophomore Joseph Iye converted the two conversion kicks for the Cardinals, representing all of the offensive of the day. With Kent State’s forfeit last week, Wheeling managed to secure their fourth win of the season and took their record to 4-2 this year.
The main key to Wheeling’s success this season has been his offensive ability to score points on the board. In their six games this season, Wheeling has outscored opponents 254-69 and allowed more than 20 points in a game only once this season. They are looking to regain their rhythm this week, having been held to under 20 points themselves in the last two games, as they attempt to lead their team to victory in their last home game of the regular season. .
After a season in which they played all 7s last season, the transition to 15 has been smooth for the Cardinals. Even though they have given up each of the last two games they have played, they are returning to some tough competition in D1AA. They were ranked 13th in D1AA in the Goff poll last week and place themselves on the map as one of the best D1AA programs in the country.
Wheeling and Davenport have faced each other three times in team history, but they haven’t faced each other in over six years. Their last meeting was on April 18, 2015, when the two teams met in Grand Rapids, Michigan. However, the two teams have not played a game at Wheeling since the 2013 season, which was also the very first clash between the two teams.
In their last game, the Panthers beat the Cardinals 38-8 in a spring road game. Wheeling has never scored more than 10 points in a game against Davenport and will attempt to reverse that scenario this time around. No one on the current roster was in the last game between the two teams, resuming the rivalry here in 2021.
Dropkick for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Bishop Schmitt Field. You can watch the match live by clicking HERE and follow in-game updates on our Twitter page.