The passionate, unarmored, physical game of rugby has 30 violent players on the field, only one quieted coach in the seats, and a single referee to control the massive temperaments and continuous energy flow. Unfortunately, sometimes discipline is lost to human emotions and the game becomes chaotic and futile. This happened last Saturday as the visiting Las Cruces Rugby Club (6-2) upset the Highlands Vatos Rugby Club (6-3-1) in an unreflective score of 24-14.

“After a month of high quality rugby and sportsmanship, the Vatos regressed. Unpunished violations and unseen foul play by a small number of players created a loss of respect among the two sides and the hapless referee. The game was called early in the second half to minimize the anger and madness.  We did not walk away from the torrid temptation to retaliate and simply point to a favorable score. Our discipline failed us. In my four decades of rugby, a foreshortened game has never happen to a team of mine. I am disappointed that we could not have a good rugby game between two quality teams. In the end the game suffered from the mindless actions of a very few that metastasize into the bodies of the teams. The score was irrelevant. It was ugly rugby and void of sportsmanship. It was no fun at all,” lamented Coach Dick Greene. “We will have a much focused chat this week and sort out why we succumbed to vulgar rugby where cheap, hypoxic words and lazy actions loom. We hope to be better men. ”

With their solid record, the Vatos close out their fall season in good shape for a run at the spring national playoffs. Regardless of last Saturday’s fiasco, the Vatos will be the #1 seed in the College Division of the 45thAnnual High Desert Classic Rugby Tournament at Bull Head Park in Albuquerque. Many out of state teams will participant. Games begin early Saturday with Finals on Sunday. A dinner/dance with the over 30 teams will be at the Albuquerque Casino Race Track Saturday night. Everyone is welcome.