Iowa Central makes West Point rugby trip
WEST POINT, N.Y. — On a weekend honoring those of the September 11 attacks on the United States, the top-ranked Iowa Central rugby team made a special visit to face off against Army.
After falling in an early hole, the Tritons were unable to climb out, coming up short, 40-12.
While the defeat was tough to take, Iowa Central head coach Brent Nelson was able to find several bright spots after the match.
“It’s tough to go a long way and perform as we did,” Nelson said. “We’re obviously disappointed in that, but these guys are resilient and we’ll learn from this and bounce back. Honestly, I think they were in a bit of shock because of how in-your-face Army was. We watched film and scouted them, but until you are on the pitch, it’s hard to respond.
“We had some good rugby moments. I hope that 20 years from now, these guys reflect back on this trip for all that it included.”
Herbert Evans and Javarious Burris each had tries for Iowa Central with Aiden Farrell going 1-for-2 on conversion kicks.
“Herbert scored on a nice assist from Phoenix Twala,” Nelson said. “We were down 21-5 and got a little momentum going, but Army took advantage of our errors and quickly put it out of reach.”
Nelson also gave credit to the Iowa Central training staff and his assistant coaches for all of the work put into planning the 18-hour, 1,200-mile trip.
“A lot goes into all of this,” he said. “Our trainer, Nate Asplund, came all the way and was a huge benefit. Also, having the assistant coaches that I have made all of this possible.
“The coaching staff we’ve put together and the training staff are really remarkable.”
Iowa Central returns to action Saturday at Minnesota.