Rugby continues strong start, blows out competition

The Colby men’s rugby team (CRFC) dominated against Maine Maritime (MMA) this past Saturday, with a 59-10 victory. The team was looking to build on the winning momentum from last weekend’s win over Bates. As Aidan Cyr ’20 explained, “The team was hyperaware of weak points from last weekend that we needed to adjust.” This focus accompanied by the confidence from last weekend made the team fully equipped to play at peak level.

Tries were scored by Captain Sam Swain ’19, Cyr Eric Alimanestianu ’19, Ben Shapiro ’20, James Lindberg ’19, Lucas Graham ’19, and Vice-Captain Nathan Huebschmann ’19. Graham also made six conversion kicks for a total of 17 points on the day.

Even after beating Maine Maritime the last two years, CRFC was reluctant to rely too heavily on history, as they have seen this team improve steadily each year. Previous successes could not dilute their intensity. Cyr also commented on the strong presence on the field from the captains. “Drew Ladner ’19 had a ton of nice pickups and long runs. Swain had two of the most beautiful passes I’ve seen, and Nate had a break down the sideline beating the entire MMA team. They also followed their play up with strong leadership, encouraging us forward throughout the entire game.” These plays were instrumental to the team’s success.

While the forwards defended against MMA’s crash style of play, the backs experienced success spreading the ball. As Swain commented, “We tried to utilize our passing and kicking abilities and speed out wide to counterattack and catch the MMA defense off guard.”

Looking forward to the rest of the season, the team will work to minimize their mental errors that could be detrimental against more competitive teams, while also building on the strong camaraderie the team is already developing.

“It’s simply a fact in my opinion: there’s nothing like the rugby guys,” Cyr explained. “Especially in a sport that is so conducive to the forming of friendship and trust when you could possibly be placing your body on the line for you or your teammate.”

The team will take on University of MaineOrono next weekend in Orono, ME and Bowdoin the following weekend before playing University of Maine-Farmington at Colby on October 21.

Colby women’s rugby (CWRFC) had similar success this weekend, with a 60-10 win over Wheaton College this past Saturday. This game was particularly exciting for the team, as CWRFC has never faced Wheaton, so this out-of-conference team was unfamiliar. “Playing in this out-of-conference game allowed us to work on different aspects of our game we might not get from more predictable, conference game teams,” said Ella Maddi ’19.

Scores came from Jess Edlund ’18, Helen Sears ’20, Madeleine Pinn ’19, Claire Stephens ’18, Maddi, Laura Wu ’18, and Meghan Enslow ’19. Conversions were made by Wu, Sears, and Anna Braverman ’19.

This season, Maddi said CWRFC is focusing on improving team cohesiveness and fluidity on the field. These qualities played an instrumental role in this weekend’s victory. Maddi went on to say, “This weekend’s game showcased our awesome dynamic on the field…and potential for this year.” As a club sport, one of the many challenges at this phase of the season is teaching newcomers and rookies the intricacies of the sport, since most of them have little to no prior rugby experience. As Maddi pointed out, however, “our rookies pick up everything really fast and always bring new energy to the team. If we keep progressing the way we have been, we can definitely make it to Nationals again and hopefully advance even further in the tournament.”

CWRFC is looking to secure a spot in the New England Small College Rugby Conference (NESCRC) Championship tournament once again, after losing in the first round of the Nationals last November against University of New York Albany. They take on UMaine Saturday, October 28 on their home field as their next step in, hopefully, sealing a spot in the National tournament.

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