Wheeling, W. Va. – After releasing the Top 150 Forwards list earlier in the day, the Goff Rugby Report released their list of the Top 150 Backs in Division I Rugby on Wednesday afternoon. The Wheeling University Rugby team placed three players on the list, giving them a total of five award winners on the Goff Reports list. Sophomore Mohammed Hadar, Freshman Chief Chipfumbu, and Freshman Stanley Gianic they all made the list for the Cardinals and played a big part on the attacking side of the ball.
It was that prolific offensive attack that Wheeling was known for all season, and that helped them to their 7-2-1 record. They defeated their opponents 383-129 to finish the year with one shutout win over Alderson Broaddus. They have scored more than 40 points four times this season, using a combination of speed and precision passing to get the ball up and down. All three attackers on the list played a big part in that offensive game and will continue to grow and develop with the program.
Heading the list is freshman Flyhalf Chief Chipfumbu, who scored a try in nearly every game Wheeling played during the season. In the NCR Rhino Rugby Bowl, Chipfumbu scored one of his team’s five tries and made the pass to complete the try on two other tries in the game. He was part of each of Wheeling’s first two scores of the game, passing the ball to Colton Boyle and Joe Howley. Overall, Chipfumbu scored at least one try in all but two games during the regular season and after the season.
Next on the honors list was sophomore wing Mohamed Haddar, who led Wheeling in attempts this season. His biggest game of the year came in the season opener against Franciscan University, where he converted four of his team’s 13 tries in the game. He scored multiple tries in three of his team’s nine games this season and nearly scored in the NCR Rhino Rugby Bowl. He teamed up with Chipfumbu on the second score of the day, pushing the ball to Chipfumbu before taking it to Howley for the score. Hadar’s speed is one of his greatest weapons and he uses it to his advantage.
Rounding out the list of the top 150 backs for Wheeling was freshman scrum half Stanley Gianic, who led the scoring attempt in the bowl game. After playing a passer role for most of the first half of the season. Giani started to ramp up and became an attacking force by the end of the season, scoring two tries in the NCR Rhino Rugby Bowl. Giani got his team on the board just before half-time and then helped secure victory with his second try of the day in the second half of the game. All three men had major shows in the fall to earn this honor.
The Wheeling University Rugby team is now looking ahead to their spring season when they kick off the Pitt 7’s Tournament on February 19th.