By Nicolas Hall ‘24

Over this past weekend, Crusader rugby traveled down to Georgetown, Illinois, to play against La Salette Academy. The Crusaders fell just short the past few years, so this was a highly anticipated game.

Four year rugby player Tommy Hanlon said, “This game was really important to us. We badly wanted to finally take home a win against a team we have not been able to beat.”

It was perfect rugby conditions on the pitch. Everything was looking right for the Crusaders.

The Crusaders started with the ball. They tried to go down, but they were held up. The first quarter was back and forth until La Salette ran down the field to score a try off a lineout. After a few minutes, they managed to get past the Crusader defense once again and scored another try.

Junior Diego Padron said, “Although they scored twice unanswered, I knew we were not out of this fight. We were not ready to give up and accept failure.”

The Crusaders finally answered back off a great try by captain Seamus Hanley. The comeback was in effect for the Crusaders, and it lifted spirits for the team.

The defense fought hard, hardly letting La Salette break the gain line. After a few flustered attempts to make the gain line, the Lions offense got nervous, and it put senior wing Timmy O’Hara in position to make a spectacular play.

As the ball was flown in the air out to the wing, Timmy O’Hara came dashing through the Lions’ line and stole the ball right out of the air to take it all the way to score a try.

The Crusaders were ecstatic. They were right into the game, fighting neck and neck. Unfortunately, La Salette managed to answer back with a couple more tries. On the bright side, for the Crusaders, Seamus Hanley managed to find the try zone one last time with a wonderful try in the last seconds.

Even though it was a tough loss, the Crusaders played a hard-fought game and took plenty of positive takeaways from it.

Captain Seamus Hanley said, “Even though we lost this year, I think we had the best chance we have ever had. Our team this year has a bunch of new kids, but we have really come together. We are looking really good.”