Husker club rugby: “Push! Harder!”

Story by Ryan Penney, NewsNetNebraska

The players wipe sweat off their foreheads, as the sweltering Cook Pavilion offers no relief to the tired bunch. A 37-5 loss in their last game pushes them to practice harder, trying to wipe away the memory of a 32-point defeat last weekend.

“Get your butt lower. Straighten your back! Better! Good, good, good,” coach Niko Waqalaivi screams as the players practice two-on-two scrums.

Three players line up against the tackle sled. The sled gives way as soon as they engage. The sled edges forward. All three players fall down, together. The sled had not been locked in. All three players get up off their bellies. Smiles turn into laughs. They hit as a team, but they also fall down as a team. The three walked to the back of the line, with smiles and turf clinging to their sweaty mismatched practice shirts.

The tackle sled doesn’t move again, and this time senior Marty Downes sits on the other side.

“Push! Harder!” Downes screams.

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