Monday mornings after a weekend rugby tour test the mettle of even the RFC’s most dedicated scholars. Head pounding, bones creaking, skin bleeding from multiple chest wounds, eyes closed from a total of 4 hours of sleep over two-and-a-half days, it’s a wonder your average HBS rugger even makes it to class for their eight-thirty. And with a total of four tours spread over the fall and spring, the damage never seems to get any easier. In particular, the RFC’s annual trip to Montreal to play McGill’s business school team is exceptionally brutal, with a week’s worth of festivities crammed into a delirium-induced 48 hours of always-on entertainment.
With Boston’s weather on Friday evening dark and foreboding, even an 8 hour van ride seemed welcoming if only to escape the dreary forecast for the weekend. Much to the dismay of the team, however, the rain continued to fall the entire trip up I-93. And yet, when the squad finally piled out of their vans around midnight and stepped onto the bright, slick streets of Montreal, the atmosphere in the city just felt different. Maybe it was the 40 or so McGill ruggers and their beautiful wives that welcomed the team into their fraternity with open arms and full pitchers. Maybe it was the anticipation of the evening’s revelry at some of Montreal’s most glamorous clubs. Or maybe it was just the opportunity to get out of Boston, away from cases and cover letters-a complete and utter immersion into a surreal dream where rugby, carousing, and the physically intelligent people of French Canadia dissolved into one sweet, beautiful cocktail.
For those keeping score back in the home office, HBS kept their undefeated Montreal streak alive, with an 11-0 win against their friends from McGill. It was a sloppy, violent, muddy affair, completely befitting the style of play that rugby connoisseurs have come to recognize as the trademark of the RFC.
Leaving the earthen pitch that evening as champions, members of this team knew they had escaped an unthinkable loss against a deceptively tough McGill squad. Twelve hours to soak in the win and celebrate with their Montreal brothers lay ahead of them, and the thoughts of these men were far, far away from HBS.