Rugby: Mules to Finals
The Colby men's rugby team won their semifinal game for the plate against the Springfield College Rugby Club. The Mules hosted the game on Saturday, October 7 at Seaverns Field under the lights. The energy of a playoff game filled both the players and the large gathering of fans; sometimes the cheering was so loud the referee had to tell the fans to quiet down so the players could hear the whistle. The men won the game with a final score of 19-5.
In the Springfield game, Campbell Stevenson '12, Co-Captain Sam Brakeley '10, and Nate Bangura '10, all had tries, and although the team's kicking was a little off in the first half of the game, the team pulled things together in the second half of the game. "Their team was really good on the offsets picking up the ball and running directly from the ruck]. However, our forwards really shut them down," Co-captain Peter Serina said.
The first try of the game was scored when after a penalty the Mules tried to run it in. They ran several phases with the forwards, who are the big guys, on the right side of then field, and then they spread it out wide to Campbell, the inside center, who broke a tackle and ran it in for a try.
Not letting down, Springfield scored at the beginning of the second half. Colby scored the second try off the scrum. Brakeley did an 8-man pick up and used his shifty skill to break through three tackles to score the game-winning try.
The third and final try was the last play of the game. Serina grubbered the ball, kicking it so it bounced on the ground through the Springfield line, and although he was tackled, Bangura was able to pick up the loose ball and score the final try.
At the end of each game, the Mules have a tradition of voting for the Man of the Match. On Saturday night against Springfield, Tim Sciore '11 was selected for this honor.
The team will head to Keene, NH, on Saturday, November 14, to face the Plymouth State Norsemen Rugby Club in the plate cup finals. Plymouth had a 3-3 record during the regular season. Heading into the game, the Mules are focusing on getting touches on the rugby ball, one-on-one tackling, ball handling, kicking, and most importantly, getting healthy for the game. "That is what we need to be successful," Serina said.
Rugby is both a mental and physical game that is fascinating to play and to watch- that is, as long as you can get over the brutality of the sport. However, many people do not even know the basics of the game and are only confused when they watch. So, the following are some basics of rugby for the next time you go to support the Colby Rugby Football Club, perhaps next year.
The first rule of the game is that you cannot pass the rugby ball forward, and the scoring of Rugby is very similar to the scoring of football. A try (getting the ball into the end zone) is worth five points, a conversion after a try is worth two and kicking for points is worth three. The try and a conversion are very similar to the touchdown and the extra point in football. [The clock runs throughout the game, and play is continuous.] When a person is tackled, either a ruck (on the ground), or a maul, (on the player's feet) is formed. Restarts in play are usually lineouts, similar to a throw-in in soccer, or scrums. A player is allowed to kick the ball forwards and often does so for better field positioning throughout the game.
Although it is a club sport, the Colby Rugby Football Club has been one of the best teams on campus this season. The men appreciate all the support from their fans, and will put forth a hard fight in the battle against Plymouth State on Saturday, to hopefully win the plate wearing the Colby name.