The Williams Rugby Football Club (WRFC) visited UMass-Amherst on Saturday and, after much pull and push, finally subdued UMass enough to gain the club’s first victory of the season.
UMass struck first off a quick penalty kick to make it 3-0. The Minutemen then took advantage of Williams’ poor composure to put in a try off a William’s handling error, taking an 8-0 lead. Once more UMass was able to capitalize off yet another Williams mistake for another penalty kick and extend its lead to 11-0.
Twenty minutes into the match Williams finally woke up and started to play, scoring off a penalty kick from Taylor Nelp ’09 to make it 11-3. On the next possession Williams spun the ball wide to Nelp, who hooked up with Chuck Toomajin ’11 as they passed it back and forth between UMass defenders for 50 meters down the field before Nelp touched it down for the score and made the conversion to bring the White Dawgs within one point of the Minutemen.
The second half started with Williams making its way deep into UMass territory before Matt Beatus ’09 was able to sneak into the corner and score to give Williams its first lead at 15-11.
UMass responded by making another penalty kick in response to another Williams mistake to bring the score to 15-14. The White Dawgs got another penalty kick as well, thanks to the sloppiness of play by both sides. Williams then scored off a scrum as Kelly Madden ’09 took the ball in for a try, advancing the White Dawgs’ lead to 23-14. The Minutemen, however, refused to quit and their scrappiness paid off, as they were able to score another try and make the conversion to bring the score to 23-21. At this point, Head Coach Bruce
Stephenson lost faith. “That’s it, we are going to lose this,” he said on the sidelines.
The White Dawgs were able to prevail, though, as Beatus got the ball to Max Blackburn ’10, who found Toomajin on the sideline as he ran past a UMass defender and into the try zone, scoring the final points as time expired to make the final score 28-21.
The Killer Bs stepped onto the field right as the rain started to pour, setting the tone for an even sloppier second game. A tough defensive struggle mixed with poor conditions led to a 0-0 tie at halftime.
The second half proved to be a different story for the Killer Bs, as Brian Hartman ’11 quickly ran through a couple of UMass defenders for a try to make it a 5-0 game. About 10 minutes later in the second half, Hartman scored again to give the Killer Bs a 10-0 lead. The rest of the match proved to be a defensive struggle as the conditions prevented anyone on either side from mounting much of an attack. Williams was able to tack on another three points off a penalty kick from Reid Covington ’11 to end at 13-0 as the Killer Bs shut out the UMass B-side.