Welcoming the Old Boys, Rugby Style

On Saturday, October 10, the HBS Rugby Football Club took the field against its senior counterpart, the HBS Alumni Rugby Football Club (Old Boys). Rarely had we seen such grizzled faces, so many grey hairs, and such antiquated knee, ankle and other protective bracing.

The first period was marked by strong rucking and the heavy Old Boys running north-south. Initially, we worried about hurting the poor old fellows, but within a few scant minutes that fear was replaced with the fear of facing large and determined HBS graduates who wanted to prove that their glory days were far from over. Do not doubt it-old man strength is real.

The Old Boys struck first with a try set up by strong forward play. Determined not to be bested at our own game, our forward pack shook off the novelty of playing against a short, stocky fellow sporting a ZZ Top-style beard and the haze of the prior evening’s Harpoon Brewery festivities and got our act together. Strong forward play led to a try by Peter “Hoss” Reynolds (HLS ’10), which was expertly converted in the breezy afternoon by Double B.

In the very next series we continued our aggressive forward play, and Hoss Reynolds broke through for a second try. His try was nearly stymied when Patrick Dickinson (MBA ’09 B) tried to remove his shorts, ripping the entire crotch out of them, and converting them to a skirt-type clothing apparatus. Thankfully, he had his best briefs on, but this run-in destroyed the Hoss’ aerodynamic form factor, and ruined his dreams of a hat trick. Again, Double B completed the conversion, sending the game to a 14-10 lead for the current side.

With both sides exhausted and the sausage sizzle on the sideline picking up steam, the current side took the ball outside to the backs for the remainder of the third period. The match was masterfully capped off and our lead widened when Andrew “Gazelle” Vinas (OF) took off down field for an 80-meter, gut-busting try. Double B’s third conversion of the afternoon then made the final score 21-10.

The Old Boys had fought valiantly, but could only maintain their edge for 40 of the 60 minutes. As Gazelle said later, “It felt a little funny running around such old guys. I didn’t know if I was fast, or if they were slow, and wasn’t sure if it was sporting to take advantage of their decrepitness.”

At the post-match festivities, we can say that songs were sung, beers were consumed, and a great time was had by all as the current side got to know their predecessors and reveled in the wonderful tradition of HBS RFC alumni weekend.

A big thank you to all of the alumni who took the time to come, play and celebrate. As always, the HBS Rugby Club is exceptionally grateful to the hospitable people of Tommy Doyle’s, the deliciously creative people of the Harpoon Brewery, the intellectual people of BCG and the brave people of International Rescue.
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November 9, 2009
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