UMass Dartmouth Rugby made its first appearance in the New England 10s tournament a memorable one, returning home as bowl division champions.
A dozen club members made the trek up to Acton to take part in the 36th annual all-day 10s tournament, many of them playing 10s for the first time. In rugby 10s, 10 players are on the field for two 10-minute halves. The team was a mix of current club members and recent graduates.
The tournament had a tough draw for UMass Dartmouth in pool play with matches against two men's clubs: Worcester and Framingham. Despite a slow start, UMDR finally began picking up momentum in the second half of the the last game of pool play. The momentum carried over into the knockout round with a win over Old Gold's second side team. The final game was a tough match against a pack of wily Old Boys out of Worcester. After a back-and-forth battle pitting youth against experience, UMass Dartmouth ended up clinching the bowl by two points.
"This was one of the proudest moments for me to be on the UMass Dartmouth rugby team," said Mark Bui Phan.
Club president Jacob Hibbert said, "Acton 10s turned out to be a day full of some great rugby and an awesome turnout for UMD RFC."
He added, "It sure didn't come easy. We had our wins and our losses throughout the day, but we came out with some hardware and won the bowl. Despite our victory this past weekend, we have plenty of work left to do and we're sure to go into our fall season hungry and looking to play the best rugby UMD RFC can produce."
Tim Moar, Ehioze Adoghe, Francis Ndicu, Zakk Surpenant, Mark Phan, Johnny Arciprete, Kevin Audette, Mick McConnell, Jacob Hibbert, Josh Fitzpatrick, James Robinson (Captain), Andrew Haggerty (Captain)