Rugby Continues Triumphant Season

Matt Flannery

On Saturday, November 5, the Colgate Still Reds men’s rugby football club (RFC) played at the recently re-dubbed Victor Krivitski Field to take part in the quarterfinals of the New Eng­land Regional Playoffs, a qualifying tournament for Nationals. Colgate received the kick from an outmatched William Paterson University and it was Colgate’s game until the finish, when the victorious Still Reds defeated William Paterson by a score of 28-17.

William Paterson’s pack was a formidable force and presented a significant challenge, but the Still Reds forwards were up to the task. Se­nior captain and prop Marc Foto and junior prop Eddie Jacob worked with senior hooker Andrew Schlenger to form a strong front line. Foto also contributed on the score sheet, plung­ing across the try line from several meters away to score one of Colgate’s three tries of the day. Senior lock Ray Peña and junior lock Colin Cowles provided strength in the scrums, as well, and dominated the line-outs. Together, they won nearly all of Colgate’s throws and stole the ball several times from William Paterson. Junior flanker John Reim and sophomore flanker Carl Eckert were consistent in their tackling, and held their own in the rucks when faced with significantly larger opponents. Strong and smart running from junior 8-man Graham Reiser helped to keep the Still Red offense moving and the William Paterson defense on its toes.

The Still Red back line dominated the op­posing line on Saturday, using well-timed plays and crisp passing to pick apart the William Pa­terson defense. Senior captain and scrumhalf Jack Henley helped orchestrate the Colgate attack by creating an aggressive offensive and executing a responsive defense. Junior fly-half Alex Heller successfully organized the Colgate offense, calling well-timed plays and executing them to perfection. Junior inside center Matt Brunetti ran hard on offense and contributed on the defense with several critical tackles. Ju­nior outside center Tyler Swiggett broke off several large runs to help bolster the Still Red attack. Colgate received the bulk of its offensive production from senior wing Dean Cohn and junior wing Joe Kelly. Kelly used tough run­ning and breakaway speed to score two of the three Colgate tries of the day as he continued his fantastic offensive season. Cohn continued his impressive kicking record, and in true Colgate fashion scored 13 points for the Still Reds. The consistent senior made all three of his penalty kicks and capitalized on two out of his three conversion opportunities. Sophomore fullback J.T. Collucci also performed well on kicks by pinning William Paterson within 10 meters of their own try zone on several occasions.

The victory moved Colgate to a record of 11-0 for the season, and allows the team to ad­vance to the final four of the tournament, which will be held at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The Raiders will face Marist RFC in the semifinal match and will face either Fair­field University RFC or Vassar College RFC if they make the final round. Altogether, the team hopes to advance to nationals by ending their season with a perfect record of 13-0.

Contact Matt Flannery at [email protected].