Gaiters Determined “Beast of the East”
By Joe Myko ’19
The world’s biggest college rugby tournament, The Beast of the East, was held last weekend, on April 14-15 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Sherbrooke, Quebec’s Bishop University Gaiters triumphed as the eventual winners in the men’s Division 1 section of the competition, finishing with an impressive 16 points and a 4-0-0 record. The women’s Division I league was won by Vassar College–also finishing with an immaculate record.
The annual competition is always hosted by the Providence Rugby Football Club, held at Gardner Seveney Sports Complex. The competition has been growing in prominence since its establishment in 2007. Last year saw the University of Connecticut triumph as the men’s Division I winners, with Vassar College securing the women’s Division I title.
This year’s installment featured three separate divisions for the men’s and women’s team–with the men’s DI league hosting seven teams, DII hosting 17 and D3 hosting 20. The women’s DI hosted six teams, with the DII hosting 17, and DIII hosting 21.
The Providence College Men’s A team competed in the second division of the competition this year, ultimately finishing with zero points and a 0-2-0 record. The Providence College B team also finished with an identical record from their performance within the competition’s Division 3 standings.
The A team began the day with a 9:20 a.m. fixture against Plymouth State University on Saturday, April 14. Their second and ultimately final match in the competition came at 5:40 p.m. on the same day, when they eventually lost 19-10 to the University of Albany Men’s Club Rugby in an unfortunate affair.
Looking towards other notable results from the tournament, Plymouth State University finished on top of the men’s Division 2 table. The University of Maine at Farmington finished winners of the men’s third division. The UAlbany women’s rugby team ultimately won the Division II title, whilst the The University of New Haven women topped the Division 3 groupings.
The PC men’s rugby team has been in operation for over 30 years at the school, competing as one of the sport’s most high quality programs within New England. The New England Rugby Football Union, as well as the USA Rugby Organization, recognizes PC’s sporting outfit, who compete each season within the Rugby Northeast conference.
For those interested, the school’s website also advertises that “All Providence College students are welcome to join the team, regardless of playing experience. Practices are held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons on Hendricken Field.”