Alumni Weekend 2016 a great day for Rats all around!
The Rats welcomed back their Old Boys and Girls for a solid day of River rugby, as CRWRFC stepped up to the challenge of their rematch with the Woo and the boys had a blast in the Over 30/Under 30 game.
Charles River Women  – Worcester 
In their first home game all season, CRWRFC welcomed the Woo for a rematch after their previous meeting on April 23. It was a typically New England Moakley day, grey, wet, and about 10º colder than in the city, but the Lady Rats were excited to get a chance to make a statement against Worcester on home turf. They were also excited to welcome some Old Girl faces to the line up for Alumni Day!
Eager to paint a different picture from their last faceoff, the Lady Rats came out blazing, looking to control the play with aggression and smart play. Receiving the ball on kickoff, they came up hard and strong down the pitch, putting Worcester on their back foot early. A penalty to CRWRFC 20m from the try line put them within scoring range in the first twenty minutes. Captain Julie “Traut” Trautwein took the ball from scrumhalf Jehanne “JugGs” Junguenet and ran hard to tie up the Woo forwards. 8-man Susan Lackey took a quick ball to march closer and suck in more Shamrocks, and with a smart pick and go inches from the try line, rookie Ellie Sanchez burst over the line to touch the ball down for the first try of the game. Captain Traut converted the kick and the Rats were up 7-0.
The rest of the half was a hard contest beteween the 22s, a forward battle like these two teams have seen many times before. Old Girl Erin Gillespie entered the match at 8 after an injury sub, and brought some new fire to the pack. While the Woo were able to control backline play last time, this match was not the same. The Lady Rats, under the fly half lead of rookie Michelle Chambers, came up hard to get in the faces of their opposing line and held them off until just before the half when they were able to swing the ball wide. A great chase from fullback Ally Hosjak made it hard work for the Shamrock wing and tackled her inches before the corner, but she was able to touch the ball down just inside the flag. The Woo missed the conversion and the Lady Rats were up at the half 7-5.
The second half was another back and forth contest in the middle of the pitch. The Lady Rats had some great marches down the pitch to close in on the try line, but were unable to get the ball in. Great rucking play and pressure by Rats like Maria Sedjo and Captain Traut helped CRWRFC hold off the Woo for most of the half. Some new energy was pumped in via the faces of Old Girls Linda Morris, Chrissy “C” Andronico, and Jenny Sack. They added fight and helped keep the Lady Rats hungry. The Shamrocks were able to squeak by twice on the outside to put up two more tries in the half. At the final whistle, the score was 19-7 but each team split a winning half of play and the Lady Rats had mounted a comeback in two weeks that they can be damn proud of.
It was an amazing Alumni Day for the club, and fantastic to see the Old Girls back on the pitch and dotting the sidelines to watch. Needless to say, we’re all proud to wear the green and orange and can’t wait for next year!
After the Lady Rats trotted off the pitch, River Boys took to the pitch in a match of the ages.
After 15 minutes of stagnant play, Axl ‘man of the match’ Querengasser broke for a near try before deciding to go down and allow a more competitive match.
Ellis, with a blunder from down under, attempts to steal a line-out and forces a knock, leading to a 30 meter blitz from the Over 30’s Tom Hartwell, leaving several defenders and a streak of flaming hair in his wake. Taking it to heart, Ellis makes up for it with a series of bone crushing tackles
Despite a heroic attempt by the Gaelic gazelle Colman Mulkerrin, Bilbo Balas strutted his legs across the try line and followed with a converted slug from his handsome to put up the only points for the Old Boys.
Marathon-Mcauslan scored another late try on a poison dart pass from the New South Walloper Ellis Patrick.
Corey “CLang” Lang’s penalty kick for once did not cling to the cross bar to make the score.
The scrums went the young-legs’ way all match as the nearly shriveled legs of the Old Boys excelled more in their passing, rucking, and not-dying. Jason La Petit LaChappelle was fantastic as scrummy for the over 30s, with a well paced attack all match.
John ‘feather-hands’ Faherty seemed to age 15 years since his last match, only months before, with two consecutive knock-ons from offensive kicks by the sure-footed Shillelagh Colman Mulkerrin. Another score came from Captain CLang as he continued his streak of kicking success with a spontaneous kick for points inside the Old Boys 22.
Thanks to all the former Charles River players who came out for the day. It’s always amazing to see you and reconnect with those Rats that helped gets us where we are today.
Alumni Day will be a tradition for many years to come and we look forward to building even more great River history as we go!- Up River
See some of the fun in the videos here made by some of our talented Rats!
Video credit to Karim Babble