CANTON, Massachusetts – In their fall season opener, the HBS A Sides lost to the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 34-12 in a match that featured HBS’ speed, tenacity, but lack of practice. The loss was not completely unexpected as HBS had only practiced on two occasions, returned just three starters, and started six RCs in the game. However, even with the lack of preparation and experience, there was no shortage of tenacity for the Crimson. The Wolfhounds felt that aggression as four of their players departed the pitch with injuries. However, it was not enough to overcome a consistently strong Boston squad. Flint “Stiff Arm” Macgregor (OE), HBS Co-captain, said, “They played dirty, but we rose above it. We matched their intensity but you could tell that we had not played together enough. Our future opponents won’t be so lucky.”
Even with only two practices, the A Sides still had their moments. Liam “Ballhawk” Patrick (NC), named HBS’ Man of the Match for his outstanding play at inside center, was a catalyst in the HBS attack. On the defensive side, Patrick flew around the pitch making big tackles and created numerous turnovers stripping the ball from the opponent several times. On the offensive side, he was able to break through the Wolfhounds defensive line for a 30 meter run before setting up a try by John “Anger Management” Doran (OB). Later in the half, Quan “Shifty” Nguyen (OF) received a pass from Bastiaan van Zelst (HLS) and weaved his way past several Wolfhound defenders for HBS’ second try of the day. Mark “Aussie” De Ambrosis (NF) scored the conversion, and took a leaf out of Stephen Larkham’s book with some great reading of the play. HBS also dominated the line outs throughout the match with jumper Matthias “Stretch” Boyer Chammard (KSG) repeatedly stealing Wolfhound throws while maintaining possession on HBS line outs.
Stephane “Styles” Heuze (OB), co-captain of the HBS squad, stated, “It was a tough loss but with only two practices, we showed a lot of promise. We dominated the line outs, showed some great pace in our back lines and overall demonstrated a very good attitude with solidarity and mutual support throughout the team. We have a lot of new players and have not spent enough time on the pitch together. By the Wharton Tournament, we will be ready to defend our title there.”
After two practices and their first game, the team’s leadership is optimistic about the fall season. Initially, there was some concern with only five returning players from the A Side (Heuze, Macgregor, Jeff Todd, Doran, and Nguyen). However, Scott “Black Eye” Pasquini (OF), Matt “Power” Commons (OD), and Sam “He-Man” Gray’s (OI) move up from the B Side and a talented RC class that is already contributing should allow HBS to remain competitive in the NERFU league and maintain their recent dominance at the Wharton Tournament in October. The Boston Irish Wolfhounds, perennial champions of the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU), have been practicing for over a month in preparation for the fall season and defeated HBS 17-0 in their spring match. The HBS Rugby Football Club would like to thank Uno’s and Sierra Nevada for their unwavering support of the program.