Get to Know a Moravian College Rugby Player

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Get to Know a Moravian College Rugby Player

Nahum Pradhan, a Moravian College rugby player.

Nahum Pradhan, a Moravian College rugby player.

Nahum Pradhan, a Moravian College rugby player.

Nahum Pradhan, a Moravian College rugby player.

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Nahum Pradhan is a sophomore music therapy and psychology major at Moravian College. He is also a player on Moravian College’s rugby team. The rugby team is recognized as a Division II club sport. They compete against local universities such as Lehigh University. Nahum encourages anyone who’s willing to try something new to come out and play. He’s found a new group of brothers through rugby.  

How did you hear about the rugby team? What made you want to join the team?

This summer I was living in a Hillside [apartment], and I was staying with one of the co-captains of the rugby team, Nick Dross. We played basketball together and he kept encouraging me to come out and play rugby. I wasn’t too sure because I knew how physical it was, but I thought I might as well go for it. I had nothing to lose. I tried it and loved it from the very beginning.

Rugby is the most physical contact sport I’ve done. I’ve been playing basketball for most of my life. Rugby is like football but on steroids.

What are the general rules to rugby?

Rugby is like football without pads. There are no forward passes, only backwards passing. One of the biggest differences is once a player goes down, there is no stoppage of play. The whole point of it is to demonstrate raw strength and willpower. As soon as someone gets tackled, your teammates have to get on top of you to secure the ball or else the other team can just come right over and take the ball. So, even if you’re hurt, you have to keep going. The only way to be substituted out is if you’re bleeding.

Why do you enjoy playing?

I really missed competitive sports because I was involved with sports for my whole life. My freshman year I was really busy with music. It just felt right to be back on a competitive sports team. Everyone on the team used to be athletes and found a passion for rugby.

How is the team this year? Strengths? Weaknesses?

Our strengths are our forward players. There are two main positions — forwards and backs. Backs are guys like me who are lean but fast, so they can move quickly and make plays with the ball. Forwards are guys who are built big and strong. We have some massive guys. Most of our forwards used to be on the football team. At the beginning of a play, the forwards go down, seven guys from the other team lock arms, and it’s a battle to see who can push who back further while the ball is rolled underneath them. It’s a testament to the strength of the team.

Our weakness is probably experience. We have a lot of new players this year, including myself. We had a lot of seniors who graduated this past year as well, so we have a young team.

What’s your favorite memory being on the team thus far?

Hanging out at the rugby house just doing guy stuff together where almost all of the guys lived. 

What are your practice schedules like?

Our practice schedule is usually Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. The “fifteens season” is in the fall (when there’s 15 players on the field). The “sevens season” is in the spring. The “sevens season” is a much faster game because there’s so few players on the field and there’s less of a margin for error. For example, if you miss a tackle while playing “fifteens,” there’s usually other guys to help you out, but in “sevens” it’s a lot of one-on-one action. Either way, it’s a very aggressive game.

How can someone become involved or join the rugby team?

They can contact any of the players on the team or just come out to practice. It’s really open to anyone. Our captains are Sean Gaida, Nick Dross, and Evan Weiss. Our coach is Evan Walters, an alumnus of Moravian who used to play rugby, so he’s been keeping the tradition going.

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