The Williams Rugby Football Club (WRFC) opened its season on Saturday at home against Middlebury, who last year boasted an impressive rank of fourth in nation and was the national champion two years prior. In spite of these achievements the White Dawgs, boasting a beefy pack and skilled backs, felt confident in their ability to play with and even upend their seemingly unbeatable foes.
This feeling, however, only lasted about five minutes into the match when Middlebury struck quickly off a botched play to make it 5-0. Ten minutes later on a sideline run, the Panthers scored again, leaving Ian Murphy ’11 with a separated shoulder in their wake, the first of many injuries on the day for the White Dawgs.
Not to be discouraged, the White Dawgs continued to play hard-nosed rugby with strong defense, keeping Middlebury out of the try zone for much of the first half. Despite withholding the Panthers’ assault, the White Dawgs were completely unable to muster one of their own, spending the vast majority of the first half in their own territory.
With the score 25-0 at halftime, the White Dawgs, led by Head Coach Bruce Stephenson, tried to forget about the half and at least play even for the second half.
Unfortunately for the WRFC, Middlebury had other plans and decided to turn up the heat, scoring within the first two minutes of play. The vicious Panther train continued to roll over the White Dawgs, forcing a broken collar bone and a bruised lung from Kevin Waite ’09 and James Kim ’10, respectively.
The final score, 61-0 proved that Middlebury was indeed as good as their ranking stated and that the White Dawgs had some work to do.
The Killer Bs readied themselves for the second game after the bludgeoned As came off the field, hoping to avenge the A-side loss. However the game felt like Groundhog Day. In spite of hard play and determination by many rookies and B-side players, Middlebury held them scoreless and walked away with two victories.