Before buckling down for exams this past fall, HBS Rugby team headed south, way south to Austin, Texas for the University of Texas Fall Brawl. The team that has wowed crowds all over new England and come to be known as the “da baddest show on turf” was chomping at the bit for a chance finish their season with a little fun in the sun. In the first of what will likely be a long history of legendary appearances at the tournament, the HBS Ruggers made quite an impact both on and off the pitch.
Despite the tour plan calling for the team to drop by a local salon for styling and manicures, followed by attending the local ballet, and then spending a quiet evening practicing Bikram yoga at their five star hotel, fate reared its ugly head and sent the team crashing into downtown Austin. Before Austin knew what had hit it, rugby alumni legend Patrick ‘PDiddy’ Dickinson was leading the ruggers straight for the infamous 6th street strip where team captain Sayce ‘Rocky’ Falk led the team in rousing rounds of rugby song which echoed off the Beaux Arts style architecture. Dressed in sharp orange tour t-shirts in honor of the host UT team, the HBS ruggers were soon warmly welcomed by the local crowd and proceeded to entertain throughout the weekend.
Despite a wild first night, the HBS Rugby team was here in Austin to make a statement and defend the school’s honor. Thanks to unconscious play from Fats ‘Mr.Versitile’ Vusumuzi, and ferocious tackling from Kohei ‘Painkiller’ Umakoshi, HBS held their own early in the tournament. At the end of the day, the HBS ruggers found their backs against the wall in an elimination game against the deep bench of the host squad from the University of Texas. Despite fielding one of the lightest front lines in recent memory due to key injuries, the HBS rugger’s front pack led by Anson ‘Bearcat’ Fredericks brought the heat and had the large Texas squad on their heels most of the second half. After several minutes of back and forth action early in the second half, Yemi ‘Cannon Ball’ Owolewa’s hard running resulted in a try to put HBS on top. With fifteen minutes to go in the second half HBS scored again on a breakaway rumble by Tom ‘Fast and Furious’ Fast and strong finish by Fats Vusumuzi. That was followed up by a quick outside try courtesy of Craig ‘UT-raider’ Baum which put the game on ice. The final score was enough to vault HBS into 1st place in the tournament after day one.
While some of the teams (aka Wharton) iced their bruises and slept, the HBS team again chose to dominate the local 6th Street nightlife. After the first night’s festivities, most of which cannot be printed here to protect the innocent, the Mayor of Austin consulted with the Department of Homeland Security to raise the rugby threat level to Red/Severe saying “their orange shirts are not reflective of their partying risk.” Accordingly, the team broke out their crimson Harpoon Brewery social jerseys and headed for the strip. When they arrived, the mayor had already posted cops on horseback at both ends of 6th street to keep the peace. However, despite their ferocious appearance and many battle scars from the day, the HBS ruggers believe in making love not war. In the end, all the law enforcement officers were needed for was containing the hoards of fans that flocked to get autographs and see the ruggers performing at their best. By midnight, fans had gathered from all over town to watch Ed ‘Wharton’s Favorite’ Brandler dance and be entertained by Warren ‘Tank’ Anderson’s singing Taylor Swift’s latest hits.
The team chose to decide their last game in Austin the following day with a beer chugging boat race and is now back enjoying the cold Boston weather and gearing up for a strong Spring season filled with wild tours. Practices will be held twice a week throughout the Spring and the team encourages all able bodied HBS gentlemen to join the winning tradition.