Sports

Men’s rugby tops Big Green en route to tourney victory

After a disappointing 15s season, the team responded by capturing its first 7s tournament

By
Sports Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wrapping up the 15s season with a 2-4 record — not good enough for an Ivy playoff berth — was not how the men’s rugby team envisioned the start of its sevens season.

“Was it disappointing? Absolutely. But this is a turning point in the season for us,” said scrum half Colin Schofield ’14. “The sevens season started this Saturday, and we’re ready to turn this team around.” The team did just that, winning the first sevens tournament of the season.

Fifteens and sevens are two styles of rugby and refer to the number of players on each team. Fifteens is generally a more physical game, while sevens lends itself to more open field play and frequent scoring.

Brown took two teams, the first and second sides, to Yale Saturday to compete in the first sevens tournament of the season. “The second side’s goal was really to give a lot of new players some opportunities to continue to familiarize themselves with the sport. The first side was there to win,” said hooker Tariq Cannonier ’16.

The first side started off the day in an early morning matchup with rugby powerhouse Dartmouth. Just a week earlier, the Big Green had trounced the Bears, posting a massive 55-3 blowout in 15s. With redemption on the line, Bruno came out firing and scored three tries in the first half, opening up a 17-0 lead.

In the second half, the team made all five of its allotted substitutions in an effort to spread playing time, Cannonier said. Dartmouth bounced back from the early deficit, managing to score three tries of its own. In a closely contested match, Brown fell 19-17, as the Big Green managed to kick two conversions to the Bears’ one.

The first side moved on from its narrow loss to face Mitchell College.

“We were definitely more skilled than Mitchell,” Schofield said. “We had a lot of success moving the ball out wide. We picked up three tries again in the first half, and then played solid defense in the second half, picking up a well-deserved win.”

Bruno faced Yale’s first side in the third match of the day. “We played and beat them twice in the fifteens season, so we recognized a lot of their personnel,” Schofield said. “We knew what we were up against. We came out really aggressive, scored four tries right away and never looked back.”

Yale ended up adding two tries of its own, but the Bears staved off the attack to earn their second win and a spot in the tournament final.

Awaiting Brown’s first side was Dartmouth, the only team to hand the Bears a loss in the tournament. “Playing Dartmouth in the final was a welcome challenge,” Schofield said. “We always look forward to opportunities to take a shot at them. We scored two big tries in the corner in the first half. I let up one try in the second half, but we held on to take the tournament.”

Bruno ultimately defeated Dartmouth, securing first place in the tournament.

“Our sevens team is looking really good. Winning this tournament was a huge boost for the starters,” he said. “I think we’re all looking forward to the Ivy Seven Championships this year. I think we have a good shot of making it.”

“This win was big for the whole team. We all look up to the seniors and the first side guys — they’re the ones with the first team jerseys,” Cannonier said. “Everybody wants to be in that position, so seeing the team play so well together inspires everyone to contribute and work hard. I think it’s going to be a good sevens season for us.”

The men’s rugby team will play in another sevens tournament hosted by Dartmouth this Saturday.

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