By Jack Rice ‘19
In any sport across the world, rivalry games hold a certain air of intensity that other opponents simply can’t match.
This was the case Tuesday night, as the Brother Rice rugby team faced off against Marist for their senior night. Not only were the teams competing for the best record in the conference, but also to maintain their status as undefeated. “This was easily our most important game of the regular season,” said senior center John Bean.
As the stadium packed and anticipation grew, both teams knew one would have to fall.
In the opening minutes, Brother Rice struggled. Missed tackles, penalties, and a turnover put the Redhawks in position for a place kick. As it sailed through putting Marist up three points, they gained a slight confidence that they might be victorious.
But watching them score first only determined the Crusaders.
Immediately after, dominant tackles from senior forwards Dan Sullivan and Evan Kirts set the momentum. Fly half Tim Desmond and scrum half Sean Hogan put the offense into position to score, which they did effectively. As Anthony Arquilla broke the Redhawk defensive line for a try, the stadium erupted. Desmond’s kick flew through the uprights, making the score 7-3.
The Crusaders were rolling.
The Brother Rice offense made sure to keep the pressure on Marist, with plenty of pick and go’s at the breakdown. Deep on Marist’s side of the field, Jack McMahon made a strong run and was brought down short of the try line. Following to ruck, Danny Conners played the ball and ran in for a score.
“We pride ourselves on supporting our runners,” said senior Jessi Plunkett. “We always commit to the ruck.”
Shortly after, Anthony Arquilla scored his second try of the game on a strong, powerful run. “When Shark scored his second try, I knew we were gonna win,” said senior wing David Mirabelli. “I could feel it in my toes.”
As the clock wound down and the Crusaders maintained their lead, it was apparently they would be victorious. On the last phase of the game, Richard Seavers intercepted a pass and took it the length of the field to finish the game. The final score was 29-10 in favor of Brother Rice.