Kentucky rugby crushes Kennesaw State 103-0 in home opener


Kentucky club rugby freshman Joe Keough celebrates with junior John Hall during UK’s 103-0 win over Kennesaw State on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Centennial Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo provided by Cassie Redden Photography

Ali Cetinok, Assistant Sports Editor

Kentucky club rugby won its home opener 103-0 against Kennesaw State on Saturday. 

The matchup marked the first official home game of the season after last week’s scheduled matchup against Georgia was canceled, leading to a scrimmage against Eastern Kentucky.

Now ready to officially start their home slate, the Cats were eager to get off on the right foot, accomplishing this goal when Kolbe Langhi’s pass to Joe Keogh went on to score within the first 30 seconds of the game.

Jared Monnier would add to the lead minutes later with Kentucky winning multiple more scrums in a row after the score to make it 21-0 early with Alec Cole getting credit for the third score.

Not 30 seconds after the restart, Kentucky found itself celebrating yet again after both Keogh and Aiden Gill led the ball down the sideline to score and make it a 28-0 game before Monnier would score with a long run just minutes later to bring the score to 35-0.

Mere minutes later, Monnier offloaded the ball to Gavin James, who went on to score again, with the former scoring yet again just before the half to see the Wildcats enter the break with a 49-0 lead.

Following the break, the Cats were eager to continue racking up points, scoring on another try within 15 seconds of the game restarting courtesy of Gill.

Monnier would go on to set up Tyler Walenga to add another name to the scoresheet just a few minutes later, bringing the score to 63-0 with over 30 minutes still left to play.

Jack Phillips also scored on a try shortly after with Dominic Rosson scoring another just seconds later to make it 77-0 for UK.

Kentucky wasn’t done with the scoring either as Phillips scored on another try with Everett Marrett and substitutes scoring three more times to bring the final score to 103-0.

Phillips also served as the kicker for the team, converting every try besides the last one to score 38 points by himself.

“It’s about coming out and staying focused and I think I did a pretty job in that aspect,” Phillips said. “Our captains and everyone has bought in and knows what the goal is, which is an SEC Championship.”

Kentucky’s Co-captain Christian O’Grady was impressed with the team’s performance after the team’s long break.

“We felt good, that’s the biggest win I have had here at UK,” O’Grady said. “Felt really good to come back strong.”

Kentucky’s next test is a road trip to Columbia, South Carolina as the Wildcats take on the Gamecocks.