The HBS Barbarians manfully strutted off the field Sunday, September 24, after handing a crushing lesson in the gentleman’s game to the Suffolk Law School B-side, proving that “B” stands for Barbarians and not Barristers.
With the final score at 50-0 (8 tries, 5 conversions), it is hard to imagine that the Barbarians played against a bigger team, but then again, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. With only four practices behind them, the HBS side nevertheless displayed great solidarity as a team, with the forwards consistently pushing themselves to their physical limits to keep the SLS team at bay, and the back displaying a great set of hands to take advantage of all the openings created for them. The camaraderie formed over the hard mud of the training fields and the soft foam of beer at Tommy Doyle’s seemed to have cemented the team into a single-minded, lean, mean fighting machine. Clean, good hits, with very few breaks through the HBS ranks by the SLS team served only to add insult to injury.
This opening game for the Barbarians was also marked by a number of players scoring their Zulu tries. For those unfamiliar with this holiest of rugby traditions, I suggest a quick look at the Wikipedia entry under “Zulu Warrior.”
Glenn Parkinson (OH) did an admirable job leading the team, and it was remarkable to see such maturity in someone who has been playing the game for just over a year.
The team was also buoyed by the presence of Paul Devlin, who played an intense game as the hooker. Paul, a 2002 member of the HBS RFC, returned to the team to help teach a few nuanced lessons to the SLS that bear some distant correlation to his post-graduate work at the HLS. The first try, which was set up with a pass from Paul back to Daniel (KSG), was pure magic, and Dan also went on to score another try soon after.
By the end of the first half, the HBS team had scored 3 tries, but the worst was yet to come. With Jeff Miller (KSG) converting an astounding five kicks out of a total of seven (the whistle blew on his eighth, else it would have been 6-8), the Barbarians seem to have found their own version of Jonny Wilkinson.
Other notables on the field were Ian Lane (NG) and Mark Cuthbert (NA), who rucked and mauled with graceless ease, Michael Fyall (OD), who showcased his versatility with his appearance as both the full back and a forward at different points of the game. Brandon Bentley (FAS), affectionately known as “Double B,” had probably the most remarkable game of his life, running circles around the opponent’s forward line as the scrum half for HBS.
Khary Barnes (NI) put up a solid defense as a winger, laying to waste the misconception that you have to hold your beer at least as effectively as the ball to prove yourself to be a deserving rugger. More tries (phew!) were scored by Warren Hogarth (NG) and Dalibor Snyder (NE), who scored two, and with both these lads making their first appearance on the rugby pitch, they certainly deserve to have their next few rounds of beers covered. Atsushi Oshiba (NF), as the fly half, certainly scored a Zulu try for the Barbarians, and his fleet footedness left the observers wondering whether he scored a brace or not.
All in all, a great start to what should turn out to be another great year, with the RC class showing exactly that-great class and panache. Go Barbarians!