BY MIKE TURCOTTE
Andrei Lupoae, 26, is the blindside flanker for the Conestoga College varsity rugby team which just recently secured a 35-21 victory over Mohawk College.
Lupoae has been playing sports most of his life, from rugby in high school to five years of representative lacrosse, and even volleyball. Nowadays, Lupoae is living the varsity dream by playing on the college team, with games once a week, usually on weekends, while enrolled in the technology foundations one-year program.
Lupoae says one of his favourite things about playing on the team is, “The team play, you know? Just knowing that you helped your team to win; it’s all about the victory.”
As of Sept. 25, the team had a 2-1 record, but Lupoae was confident the team could secure some more wins, despite not being perfect. “We need to amp up the aggression as a team when it comes to hits, and hustle to the ball faster.”
When asked what he feels he needs to improve on, on an individual level, he says, “I need to get on plays faster, and work on my cardio. Like, cardio conditioning, stamina.”
However, Lupoae has already had a minor injury, having pulled his hamstring during a game against Georgian College. He is back and ready to play again, thanks to what he calls an amazing athletic therapy team provided by Conestoga College. Because Lupoae plays on the varsity team, he is provided with free physiotherapy including exercises on how to help his leg to recover swiftly, and it seems to have paid off. Lupoae says he is grateful that the school takes care of their team players as well as they do.
Knowing that he will be at the college for at least a couple more years, Lupoae says he looks forward to playing more rugby, and intends to do all he can to be a good team member.
Conestoga’s next home game is on Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. at Riverside Park’s Bill Struck Field. They play an away game this Thursday against Seneca College.