By Seamus Hanley ‘24

On Saturday, March 16, the Brother Rice rugby team kicked off their season with a friendly exhibition match against Bishop Dwenger High School of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The day started early for the team, as they left at 7:45 a.m. for a three-hour bus ride across Indiana.

Senior Diego Hernandez said, “Before the game, I was nervous for my first start. I wanted to hit someone as hard as I could.”

The team battled hard the first half, only being down 5-0 against one of the best teams in the state of Indiana.

Senior TJ McNichols said, “We played really strong the first half. I was nervous that they were going to be really good, but we stuck with them hard for the first 35 minutes.”

The second half started rough for the Crusaders though, as the Saints of Bishop Dwenger scored two tries within 15 minutes, putting Brother Rice down 19-0.

The Crusaders answered shortly after with a try from senior and first year player Timmy O’Hara, setting the score to 24-5.

O’Hara said, “As exhilarating as it was to score, I cramped up after I scored, so I was a little sore.”

After a hard fought game, simple mistakes made by the Crusaders caused the final score of 24-5. The rucking Crusaders look forward to bounce back this Friday in a home friendly match against Mount Carmel.