Ohio State defeated Purdue 52-12 in their home opener at Fred Beekman Park, Columbus, OH. After losing to #19 Wisconsin 79-8, Purdue hoped to improve against their second D1A Rugby Top 20 team in two weeks. While Ohio State looked for their first conference win after a week one bye.
Ohio took advantage of a lucky bounce in the 2nd minute of the match and scored a try through freshman flanker Spencer Krueger. The Buckeyes’ next try did not come easily as Ohio State Head Coach Tom Rooney explains: “We didn’t score again for over 25 minutes…Forwards were under pressure.” However, freshman Nate Heister followed his teammate past the try line a few minutes after Purdue received a yellow card.
The Ohio State backline took over the midfield and dominated the open play, scoring five tries and bringing the Buckeye total to 45. The personal tries of inside center Jaime Barlow and fullback Ronan Forrestal and Jojo Eramo’s hat-trick through the middle of the match were only interrupted by Nathan Achor’s try in the 37th minute, giving the Boilermakers their first seven points.
Purdue continued to apply pressure all match according to Purdue Rugby President, Robby Honer, who said, “I felt that…we competed the entire match. We didn’t come out on top but our minds were in the right place. We are slowly starting to develop championship mentality throughout both the A side and the B side.” The Boilermakers’ effort payed off when Tim Guite scored the team’s second try of the match in the 75th minute.
The game was capped by forward sub Nate Grose’s try from a quick tap from the 22m mark in the 75th minute. Coach Rooney believes Nate has “great potential” and will be one to watch. The final score of the match was Ohio State 52, Purdue 12.
The Buckeyes will welcome Iowa to Columbus before taking on a three-week road series against Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan State. Ohio State will plan to improve over the week and stay undefeated at home.
Purdue will prepare for their next conference match against Illinois by drilling their fundamentals. Phil Spagnolo, described by his teammates as “an excellent role model and teammate,” is expected to lead the team.