Men’s and Women’s Rugby advance to the round of 16 in Nationals

Starting off the weekend of Rugby, the women’s team took on the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers (RIT) in a match which would advance the winner to the round of 16 of Nationals. The match was a cold one, with both teams facing adversity from the wind. Fortunately for the Mules, RIT was low on numbers and on the smaller side with regard to its players. Colby was set to make a statement against the Tigers early. The team won in a dominant fashion 38-12 with Katie Cole `20 and Helen Sears `20 making key offensive runs crucial defensive stops for the team.

Despite the score line, the Mules had to work for the majority of their tries, pushing through near the try zone or the odd fast break from a back on the team. For the round of 16, the women will head to Vassar College in NY to continue their regional playoff run and hopeful Nationals run.

Immediately after the women’s game, Colby men’s rugby beat the UMass Dartmouth 38-36 in a thrilling match. This was an equally high stakes game. The winner would go on to Albany to play in the round of 16 of nationals. The game didn’t start well for the Mules, with UMass Dartmouth punching their way into the try zone after ten minutes of playing time. However, Colby rugby had no intentions of letting the game slip away from them, and at the 30 minute mark, Colby formed a powerful maul off a lineout which pushed back UMass and Chase Goode `21 scored a try. Steven Ditzler `22 was phenomenal as always, converting kicks from the smallest angles imaginable. With five minutes left in the first half, another devastating maul by the Mules allowed Goode to score another try. With two minutes left on the clock, UMass Dartmouth was knocking on Colby’s door, and one of their props carried the ball in for a try, making the score even at 14-14. But this eventful half was not over. Indeed, in extra time, in typical Aidan Cyr `20 fashion, he saw a hole and ran past a handful of defenders to give Colby the lead 21-14 at the end of the first half. 

The start of the second half started just as the first half ended, a Colby try. After a long set of  phases, Colby found themselves within five yards of the UMass Dartmouth tryzone. Ethan Beatty `22 took matters into his own hands and punched his way to score his first try for Colby Rugby. UMass Dartmouth, however, showed great heart and slowly came back on the scoreboard. It started with a try after Colby conceded a penalty, closing the gap to 28-19. Then, with 25 minutes left in the second half, UMass Dartmouth swung the ball to their back line and their center outran Colby to score a try. The score was now 28-24 for Colby.

With 17 minutes left, Colby crafted a promising attack inside UMass Dartmouth’s half. However, their fly-half intercepted a Colby pass and ran it all the way to give UMass Dartmouth the first lead of the second half. With 13 minutes left, the Mules received a penalty inside Ditzler’s range. Ice in his veins, Ditzler converted the kick and tied the game 31-31. Colby needed a try to get back in the lead and with eight minutes left, Will Bedingfield `22 strikes the ball until it landed in Peter Hilton’s `22 hands; he saw an opening and scored his first try for Colby Rugby, and what a time to do it. The Mules had a seven point advantage and tried their best to push back UMass Dartmouth, but in extra time, they scored another try. If the UMass Dartmouth kicker converted the try, the game would go into extra time, if he didn’t, Colby would move on. After an incredible game, the kicker was unable to convert and Colby took the win in spectacular fashion.

The Mules are back at it this weekend in the round of 16 of nationals at Siena College against Salve Regina on Sat. Nov. 23.