by Max Anderson ’18
The Providence College Men’s Rugby season kicked off conference play this past Saturday, with the Friars already looking like they are in midseason form. The Friars hosted Roger Williams on Saturday and immediately picked up right where they left off, defeating the Hawks 39-12 to improve to a 1-0 record in the Rugby Northeast Conference. The contest was a tune-up for the Friars and a good indicator that the team has big things planned for this upcoming season.
PC is one of 14 schools currently participating in the Rugby Northeast Conference. The Friars will look to repeat their success in the conference after finishing last years season at the top of the Conference with a nearly unblemished record of 7-1. The Friars will have experience on their side, as they are returning a majority of players are returning from last year’s team, including 16 seniors and nearly 30 upperclassmen total.
The Providence Rugby squad has taken monumental strides since the seniors arrived on campus in 2014, and could be looking at their best season yet. During the 2014 fall season, the Friars recorded a 4-4 record, and improved upon that mark with a 5-3 conference record the following year. Last season, the Friars had their best record since the 2012 season (a year when the Friars went undefeated) finishing with a 7-3 mark overall, and a nearly perfect 7-1 record in conference play. With so many returning players, it is easy to see how the team could improve on that mark this season, potentially even matching the undefeated record that the 2012 squad set.
Looking ahead at the upcoming schedule, the Friars have two straight home games at Hendricken Field, before heading out on the road for a three-game road trip. The Friars will take on Middlebury College this Saturday, September 23, and will follow that up with a visit from University of Massachusetts Lowell on Friday, Sept. 23, a team the Friars handily defeated last season 55-37. The Friars will then head across town to take on the Bryant Bulldogs on Friday, October 6, a school the Friars defeated 39-24 last year, before venturing to Southern Connecticut State University a week after that on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Friars will finish up the three game road trip with a visit to Norwich University, where they will take on the Cadets on Saturday, October 21. The Friars did not play the Cadets last season, as Norwich was added to the conference this past season. PC will end their season at home against Bentley University on Saturday, October 28, in what may turn out to be the most interesting game of the year. Last season’s only loss for the Friars came at the hands of Bentley. The Friars just narrowly lost to the Falcons, so you can guarantee that the Friars will be looking for revenge in this upcoming game.