Syracuse rugby plagued by injuries, misses out on postseason

first_img Published on October 29, 2014 at 12:04 am Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse sophomore captain Angus Bishop never leaves the field willingly. When a head-on collision with a Binghamton opponent left him stumbling and slow to get up, he wanted to keep playing.But with the Hammerheads fighting for a spot in the Empire Rugby Conference championships, Bishop did not want a potential concussion ruining his team’s chance to make the biggest game of the season.“I didn’t need to come off,” Bishop said. “I was a bit groggy when I got up and I stumbled over a bit and kind of fell back down but after that I was fine.”Despite his protests, Bishop was taken out for the remainder of the game, a 44-13 loss that all but shattered SU’s chances of winning the division.Along with Bishop, many of the Hammerheads have suffered the injury bug, with four upperclassmen being sidelined at some point in the season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We sort of gave up on ourselves a little bit in the middle of games,” said junior second row Jack Faure, who was one of four upperclassmen that missed time due to injury. “We didn’t come out strong in a lot of games offensively and that killed us for the rest of the game.”Along with Faure, who missed two weeks due to a shoulder injury, senior flyhalf Raf Stit missed two games with an ankle injury, junior second row Dan Colantonio was out for the year with a leg injury and senior prop Brad Orr missed a game with a rotator cuff injury.Though some only missed a few games, the season is just six games long and each game is vital to make it to the championship. And those injuries might prove to be too much to overcome.One of the biggest losses was Stit, who as halfback ran the offense for the Hammerheads, who did not have a go-to replacement for him when he was injured in a preseason matchup.“Without (Stit) it was really tough,” Faure said. “It pretty much killed our entire offense without him.”To make up for gap at halfback, head coach Bob Wilson brought up sophomore Alex Sadler from the Hammerheads’ B-side and split play-calling duties between him and freshman wing Eddie McCarthy until Stit returned.Both players had previous rugby experience, with Sadler playing for SU’s B-side and McCarthy with powerhouse Xavier (New York) High School’s varsity rugby team, but a lack of familiarity with the Hammerheads’ offense showcased itself early, getting shut out in two of its first three games.His teammates’ injuries compelled Bishop to play through his own injury problems, but even he couldn’t stay on the field all the time. Along with the head injury against Binghamton, Bishop also sustained a shoulder injury in the previous game against Brockport that sidelined him for the remaining minutes.As SU has learned the hard way this season, the threat of injury is always present in rugby, a contact sport that lacks the pads and helmets of similarly physical sports such as lacrosse and football.“I don’t think you could find a contact sport where people could go through a whole season without being injured,” Bishop said. “I think it’s just the nature of the games that we play.” Commentslast_img

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