WILLIAM SNAPE IV ’18
The Trinity College Rugby Club is on its way to making history this weekend by qualifying for the Division II Nationals tournament. For the second season in a row, the team has gone undefeated, boasting an impressive 5-0 record against a series of historically tough opponents in the New England Rugby League.
The team also had no home games this season due to the reconstruction of most of the fields along Broad Street, which has put players under even greater intense physical strain than a normal rugby season usually demands. “This season was especially brutal. It’s always harder to play after a long day of traveling, so we really had to come together and stay focused pretty much all the time this season” said Kelsey Baradzi ’18. The closest resemblance the team has had to a “home game” were the matches against Wesleyan University and Williams College played at Pope Park near downtown Hartford. Baradzi continued, “The games at Pope Park were definitely nice in terms of travel time, but there’s something about playing on campus that you just can’t replicate.”
Despite these obstacles, the team still managed to dominate their competition every week. The team scored over 200 points in just five matches, which is remarkably high in a game where the denomination of scoring points is two, three, and five.
In their first game against the University of New Haven, Trinity had its closest contest of the season by far with a narrow 17-12 win. After that, the games were hardly competitive. They beat Amherst 47-3, then Williams College 47-10, punished Connecticut College 55-5, and shutout Wesleyan University 35-0. To put this in perspective, the team lost to Wesleyan 3-2 just two years ago. Trinity was supposed to have one final game against Amherst this past weekend, but it was called off, as Amherst had to forfeit for lack of players.
This Saturday the team faces the University of New Haven in New Castleton, VT at 2 p.m. for their opportunity to make it to the national tournament where, if they win, they would face a much more diverse pool of schools with deeper rosters from all over the country.
This is the best rugby team Trinity has seen in a while, and if there were ever a time for them to test themselves against nationwide competition it would be now. Chris Cilliers ’17 added, “Being a part of TCRC has been one of the best parts of my Trinity experience. Every year the team has made it further and further.”
If you can, come out and support the team and potentially witness a historic moment for guys who have sacrificed a lot for the program.