Tiberio leads Arizona club rugby


The Arizona club rugby team, led by senior Peter Tiberio, has had an up and down season.



The Wildcats are 8-4 but have lost three of the last four games and are ranked No. 12 in the nation in the new College Premier Division and 14th in Rugby Magazine's current poll.



""So far it's been a bit disappointing,"" said Tiberio, the senior captain and arguably the best player on the roster. ""(The three-game losing streak,) it's been tough and it has taken a toll on us. We are glad to be where we are, but at the same time we are wishing we had a few less losses and be in playoff contention.""



Head coach Dave Sitton isn't as frustrated with the season as Tiberio.



""We had a rash of injuries. We had one guy leave to go play for the United States, and during that period of time we lost three matches,"" Sitton said. ""Two of the three matches were to top-five teams in the country, so all in all it has been a pretty good year.""



Sitton was referring to Tiberio, who left the team for four games for the national team.



""That was amazing. It was probably the coolest thing I have ever done in my entire life,"" Tiberio said. ""Being able to play, one to represent my country and then two being able to do it in a sport I love.



""On top of all that, one of the tournaments I got to go to was in Hong Kong, which is probably one of the most famous rugby tournaments in the whole world. Playing in front of close to 45,000 people is something I will never forget.""



Being the most talented guy on the roster brings some unforeseen disadvantages for Tiberio. He admitted that it does add pressure for him to perform at a high level when all of his teammates are looking toward him.



""Sometimes I feel like I need to do much,"" Tiberio said. ""My coach does a real good job of telling me to slow down, but it definitely puts pressure on me to perform day in and day out, not just in games, but in practice, too.""



Fellow senior Mike Getzler raves about Tiberio to family and friends for his talents on and off the field.



""Playing with him on the field, I can't tell you how much more comfortable and confident that I feel,"" Getzler said. ""I feel like we play off each other so well just because we have been playing together for so long. He has such a higher knowledge of the game that even I find myself listening to his coaching advice quite a bit.""



The Wildcats are looking to finish out their season with another winning streak as they will have their captain back on the field. The Wildcats will face off against Colorado this Saturday and Air Force next weekend.



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