White Dawgs triumph in opener

Following two straight weekends of fine-tuning their rugby skills through scrimmages against themselves, the Williams Rugby Football Club took the field against the Three-Legged Donkeys of University of Vermont (UVM).

Although UVM’s size, bizarre hairdos and apparent professionalism (suggested by team warm-ups and a pre-game team picture) seemed daunting at first, the Williams A-side had little difficulty dispatching the Donkeys, 27-15.

UVM seemed to take control early, but squandered several scoring chances on penalty kicks. They kicked about as well as you’d expect a three-legged donkey to kick, and they somehow managed to allow six different players to shank on six scoring opportunities. “Man, even I could have made those kicks, man,” commented scrum captain Nicholas “Po-qua” Brandt ’02.

Williams got on the board first, thanks to penalty kicks from the dynamic duo of Tyler Polk ’03 and Matt “Marshall” Dahlman ’04. UVM’s patented strategy of “put your head down and run blindly inside” was detected by the astute A-side players, and subsequently shut down. The contribution of Andrew Keating ’02, Michael “Penny” Recht ’02, and “Salty” Justin Reliford ’03 was duly noted.

The Dawgs then made it 13-0 at the half, adding a try scored by GQ coverboy and fullback extraordinaire, Forrest Wittenmeir ’02. The gib, fat and slow Vermont ruggers simply did not have the speed necessary to chase down the scampering fullback.

Slightly miffed by the questionable calls of referee Troy McClure, the Dawgs lapsed a bit in the second half. Penalties for off-sides and forward passes continually nullified the stupendous rucking of the scrum and the glorious play of the line. The lumbering Three-Leggeds used McClure’s apparent in for Williams to cut the lead to five, 20-15.

But they hadn’t heard the last of Wittenmeir, who completed the hat trick by ramming home two more tries for Williams. Asked to comment on his spectacular individual effort, the ever-so-modest fullback merely grinned and exposed his rippling stomach muscles for all to see.

The tag team of Polk and Dahlman converted each try effortlessly, kicks of such extreme difficulty that they had the UVM squad in awe, and scored 9.9 and 9.8 from the German judge, respectively.

Williams held this lead until the final whistle, thanks to the fancy footwork of Peter Walke ’03, the silent sauntering of Scott Comstock ’02 and the floundering, but surprisingly effective, ball movement of Ariel Zetlin-Jones ’04.

The Killer B’s could not follow the lead of the A-side, however, due largely to injuries suffered by several key players. The dumb, bitter Donkeys clearly had no sense of fair play, for they tossed out a “B”-side that consisted of several A-side ogres to beat on a Williams hybrid of B’s and sweet siders.

The first-half casualties of John “Kross” Arendshorst ‘04, who suffered a unique throat mishap and Matty “Lips” Lipinsky ’02, who broke the bejesus out of his nose, overshadowing the fine play of winger Andrew “Psycho” Marks ’05. “Have no fear, I’ll be back and ready to go as soon as I get this straightened out, and pigs fly,” assured Lipinsky, despite the gross disfigurement of his pretty face. Inspired by his words, the Williams B’s played toughly, and it was a 0-0 stymie at the end of the first half.

It got uglier in the second half, however, as more inexperienced players were shuffled into the mix by Williams, as UVM subbed in more ruffian ringers to assure themselves a mismatched victory. “They have no honor,” moaned Jeremy “Sea Donkey” Koulish ’04. “I bet they don’t even have an honor code at UVM!” Indeed, the dishonorable Three-Leggeds sent two more honorable Williams ruggers to the ever-efficiently run Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Broderick “Booter” Dunn ’04 had to be carried off the field on a backboard, and was joined in the waiting ambulance by Ari “Casper” Kessler ’04, whose brow was gushing with blood. No one ever said rugby was a gentle sport.

The details of the score were quite inconsequential. UVM won by the trifling tally of 17-0, but those who were there would claim there was more to the story. It was the first rugby game ever for many young lads, and it was a most encouraging start. Rookie standouts included Marks, Akil Pascal ’04 and Stephen Rahl ’05.

Next week, the White Dawgs host Johnson State, and look to improve on their promising opening weekend.