Uvm rugby displays will

UVMÕs menÕs club rugby team hosted the Canadian University of New Brunswick at Centennial Field April 28.

This was VermontÕs final of four matches during their spring season. The spring season for rugby is an off-season of only exhibition games with the sole purpose of preparing for the real season in fall. This was also the final match for New Brunswick during their American tour.

The Catamounts started off the match hot. The New Brunswick Varsity Reds are lauded as a great rugby team, so this was meant to be a great matchup from the start. Vermont finished the first half 33-21.

As usual with rugby, this was a very physical event. Vermont was able to win many scrums during the whole match. A scrum is when both sets of forwards come together and form a large pile in a circular formation. Each team has scrumhalves who will roll the ball behind them. The other players will drop in the middle, push and engage. They try to push the other team backwards in order to gain possession of the ball.

The Catamounts werenÕt as powerful in the scrums as New Brunswick, but their speed and versatility helped them gain an advantage over the Reds.

ÒIt was a good showing for improvement in the fall season,Ó junior Frank Abegnale said.

Vermont won the first half tries with five tries to two. A ÒtryÓ is a method of scoring other than a goal. Scoring a ÒtryÓ is achieved by moving the ball into the oppositionÕs in-goal area and touching the ball to the ground.

ÒFans need to recognize that we are a club team that plays better than most varsity teams,Ó said Bronson Murchie.

The match showed an unexpected turnout from Vermont fans for their last victory of the spring season. The Cynic interviewed Coach Declan Connolly on his thoughts on the game.

The match had an unexpected showing from the fans and the rugby team pulled a large crowd Sunday afternoon for the last victory of the spring season. The Cynic interviewed Coach Connolly on his thoughts after the upset win against New Brunswick.

ÒWe were very pleased today. It was very nice. A lot of the mistakes that we made Friday night against St. Mikes we eradicated today which was good because this was a much better team. I was very pleased with it.Ó The Catamounts rugby team shows a lot of promise and potential despite having the amount of heavy hitters as other clubs. What they lack in size, they make up for in will and determination.

Connolly said, ÒWe need to eliminate the penalties and the mistakes. We had probably 10 stupid penalties against a really good team that wouldÕve punished us a lot more. So moving into the regular season we want to eliminate the penalties.Ó

The CatamountÕs goal for the fall season would be to make the playoffs. TheyÕve made the playoffs every year for the last five or six years. They are hoping to get some new kids that join the team for the fall season. There are several key players that are graduating this year.

Asked if the rugby team should gain more recognition, Connolly said, ÒI think we have good recognition on campus. WeÕre perennial national contenders for the last five or six years. WeÕve got big numbers. In the fall weÕve got 40-45 guys at practice, and weÕre really very strong in that department but the league is getting real competitive every year and we need to continue to develop or else weÕre not going to be competitive in the playoffs.Ó