Tag Archives: Arizona State University rugby

Photo by Kaci Demarest

Things got dirty at Scottsdale rugby bowl

Scottsdale Stadium hosted a sport other than baseball on April 18.

The 2nd annual Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale: Beauty and the Beast Rugby Bowl featured three rugby games inside of the San Francisco Giants’ Spring Training facility.

Around 2,000 fans turned out to watch the matches.

The division one high school championship started the series of games off. Red Mountain held a consistent lead over Scottsdale through the course of the game.

Red Mountain was the defending champion heading into the game. Following a 47-19 win, Red Mountain held on to their title.

Moving into the collegiate games, Grand Canyon played University of Southern California following the high school match.

Grand Canyon is in their inaugural season, but their playing tactics said otherwise. The Lopes got on the board early with a score from freshman Darien Pickett. At the half, Grand Canyon had a significant lead of 28-3.

Grand Canyon didn’t give USC many chances to score in the second half either and clinched the match over USC 59-8.

To create a change of pace in between games, Phoenix Fashion Week held a Warning Track Fashion Show. Although Phoenix Fashion Week isn’t until October, the group hosts multiple events throughout the year to build energy.

Models showed off attire for both playing and watching the sport. Once the models had finished their walk about the track, they formed tunnels for the players to run out through to get the ASU vs. OSU game started.

The Arizona State and Ohio State matchup was chalked up to be a rematch from the 1997 Rose Bowl in football.

“We look at it as the fact that Ohio State and Arizona State don’t play each other very often,” Arizona State head coach Gary Lane said.

Arizona State currently ranks tenth in the nation. Over the past five years, they have consistently been in the top 15.

The matchup went scoreless for the first ten minutes, but the Sun Devils were the first to get on the board. Once the points started to roll in for ASU, they didn’t stop.

For halftime entertainment, world arm wrestling champion Travis Bagent took on a handful of people.

Challengers included Mike Bauer from Fox Sports 910, Arizona Republic contributor Dan Bickley, Scottsdale Councilman Guy Phillips, and Maricopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Coming back from halftime, Arizona State kept their staggering lead and continued to keep Ohio State at bay.

Arizona State forwards Matt Brennan and Nick Howard created a pummeling offense where they scored over thirty points combined.

ASU went on to shut out OSU 59-0.

Aside from Rugby, fans could check out a variety of vendors on the concourse.

Rugby Bowl founder Jason Rose also hosts a Polo Party in the fall.

“People encouraged us to do a second Polo event, but Rugby is actually a lot more popular,” Rose said.

Rugby is making a come back and will be reintroduced to the summer Olympics in Rio in 2016. The last time Rugby was played in the Olympics was 1924, and the United States took gold that year.


Rough Up Your Weekend at the Inaugural Fiat of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl

As one of the fastest growing sports in North America and in college sports, you may have noticed rugby is receiving more attention lately. Arizona has been a part of the rugby community for almost 40 years with Arizona State University’s club team. Scottsdale is looking to join with the first rugby event in the Valley – the Fiat of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl.

ASU Rugby debuted in 1975 and has ranked in the top 15 in the last five years and is currently ranked No. 11. Coach Gary Lane explains that unlike lacrosse or hockey, the rugby team does not play in a league division, but plays against everyone. They have had a tough schedule so far, but hope to move up in the ranks to No. 9 or No. 10 in the next couple of weeks. “I think we are doing pretty well,” states Lane, “We play U of A in two weeks at U of A. I think that will be a good test for how things are going.”

As a club team, ASU rugby does a lot of its own fundraising for travel expenses, tournaments, equipment and more. They tried new fundraising techniques this year including some crowd funding campaigns. They did not meet their goal, but did pretty well and hope their campaigns will be more successful in the future.

Lane also hopes to receive more exposure for the team and to receive team sponsorships. Lane emphasizes that the team is more than just a sports club, but also part of the community. The team participates in a lot of charity work for nonprofits such as the Special Olympics and Polo Plunge. They also support the women’s athletics at ASU and try to support the community in different ways. “It is a big part of our identity. We are very proud of that and we hope to set a benchmark for other teams at ASU,” says Lane.

ASU will compete against Brigham Young University (BYU) in the upcoming Rugby Bowl in Scottsdale. Lane says that the team is excited for the event and to compete against a difficult team. “It is our job to produce a game this is up to the stature of the event,” states Lane, “I’ve never been shy as a coach to take on big teams and see how we compare. You have to play at that level and if you don’t, why bother.”

Founder and owner of the Fiat of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl, Jason Rose, is also excited for the event. Rose explains that there is already a successful polo event in the valley, and he saw the chance to start a similar event with rugby. He explains that rugby is a growing sport and that there is a huge rugby footprint with the high-ranking teams of ASU and BYU. He states that the fans are about even so far according to ticket sales.

Rose hopes to generate visitors from different backgrounds form rugby enthusiasts to people who are fascinated and learning about rugby to people who simply want to enjoy an Arizona spring day.

There will be a myriad of other events including a motorcycle display, which will also donate money to a breast cancer charity, several local bands including the classic rock cover band Whiskey’s Quicker and Arizona’s premier Irish rock band Keltic Cowboys, a tug-o-war between ASU and BYU fans, World of Beer Garden, Scottsdale Cigar Lounge and even a barber shop. There is sure to be something for everyone, and all events take place inside the stadium so visitors can also watch the match.

For the future, Rose hopes to create a great Arizona event and the country’s best rugby event. He hopes to involve four, top college rugby teams in 2015, and also hopes to expand from thousands to tens of thousands of visitors. “It will be post-spring training and will be great for people looking for their football fix. Rugby has all of the hard hits like football but without the pads,” explains Rose.

Check out ASU’s rugby team and the Fiat of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl on April 12. Gates open at 11:30 am and tickets start at $12.