The HBS Rugby Football Club returned to the rugby paddock over the weekend to begin the assured path to World Rugby dominance. After a long summer away from the Carl Lavin (OE) “even the Navy Seals can’t handle this workout” training regime, we gingerly hit the rugby pitch to take on last year’s New England league finalists, Mad (as Meat Axes) River.
With Krautsteak “I can drive from Boston to Vermont in 30min” Krautmann (OJ) at the wheel of the mini-van, the HBS RFC flashed by at the speed of light some glorious New England countryside on their way to Vermont during which there was much discussion of corn production techniques, grain futures and possible ski-field real estate developments (the HBS RFC committee has now decided to ban all discussion of any intelligent variety in order to prepare the mind for ensuing gladiatorial combat). Arriving at the home of Mad River RFC, the lads were struck by the sheer beauty of the surroundings and the seemingly cushion-like rugby pitch – and very much looking forward to pile-driving the opposition into it.
The match started tentatively with some uncharacteristically soft tackles and some not unexpectedly summer cobwebs creating some spilt ball. This, of course, was not an unusual outcome given the team had only been back from the summer break for less than a week. After a closely contested first-half and some scintillating runs by Mans “the Swede” Larsson (who had the ladies on the side line hollering wildly) the two teams were closely poised for a bruising second half at 12-6.
The second-half began with Mad River’s back line running over for a couple of extremely lucky, against the run of play, never-to-be-repeated freaks-of-nature trys (aka touch downs in football parlance). This put the home team well ahead by 22 points and any rugby team faced with this deficit would have packed up and gone home.
But not the boys from the HBS RFC. In a fashion that would not be unfamiliar with regular readers of the Harbus, the HBS RFC showed the mettle, heart and passion that have made it one of the most feared North American rugby clubs. Lead by the steely determination of Pascal “I now have a better six pack than Mans Larsson” Ambrosi (OF) and some gut-wrenching, teeth chattering demolitions by Krautsteak Krautmann, the boys took the play back to the Mad River Meat Axes.
After some blockbusting breaks from the new flying Frenchman Stephane Heuze (NB), Thomas Lefebvre (OF) completed a beautifully poignant but equally ruthless French combination by outrunning, outmaneuvering and ultimately trampling over a number of diving opponents.
This was followed immediately by an equally incisive series of plays that was engineered by the feisty new scrummie Flint “off to you too” Macgregor (NE) and some deftly agile running by Quan “slip off any tackle” Nguyen (NF) culminating in Captain Carl “I’m madder than any Mad River Meat Axe” Lavin plunging over for a well deserved try directly under the posts.
All in all the game ended up being an extremely close encounter that displayed some outstanding new recruits such as Jason Glass (OI), Santiago Izaguirre (OH), Zach Rossley (NF) and Kevin Releford (OB), in addition to those mentioned above. This new blood reconfirmed the awesome potential that the HBS RFC possesses and puts them in good stead to retain the North American title at Wharton later this semester.