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NECRC - Close Games All

irish rugby tours

NECRC - Close Games All

Norwich got a rare shutout.

It was all about the close games in the New England Collegiate Rugby Conference, as all three games in the opening weekend of conference play were tight.

Defending champion Vermont went down 17-8 to Coast Guard in Rhode Island. The Coast Guard Academy is a former national DII champion and is always tough, so UVM losing on the road isn’t necessarily an upset even if they were undefeated last season.

Meanwhile, Norwich beat Boston University in Boston 12-0.

“This is the youngest team I’ve had, and the first shutout in 15 years,” said Norwich Head Coach Bob Weggler. “For us, Boston has always been a tough place to play, but they did well.”

In the first 30 minutes of play Norwich struggled from lack of discipline and multiple penalties. Boston University spent most of the time in Norwich’s end, but the Cadets held the Terriers out, despite being a man down for a yellow card.

Int the 30th minute junior flyhalf Keegan Frick scored the first try of the game and converted to make it 7-0 for Norwich. That would be the only scoring of the first half. But five minutes into the second half, senior prop Shaquille Malcolm went over to make it 12-0. Neither team could convert their opportunities after that, and the game ended 12-0.

Meanwhile, in the closest game of the weekend, Rhode Island held off New Hampshire 22-20.

The Rams defense produced the first scoring opportunity, forcing turnovers and setting up Adam Nabb for the opening try. UNH struck back quickly, however, breaking a tackle in midfield and splitting the URI back three to touch down between the posts. 


Led by flanker Julio Tavarez, URI upped the defensive pressure, leading to an Anthony Kennedy penalty kick at 17 minutes, and then a weakside move by Alex Zygmunt from the back of a ruck close to the UNH line. That made it 13-7 Rhode Island, and that’s how the score remained at halftime.

One minute into the second half, UNH again broke the URI line for another long try and a 13-12 scoreline. Kennedy added another penalty kick for URI six minutes later, but UNH began a patient tight forward attack that eventually worked its way to the goalline, capped by a leaping UNH try to take a 17-16 lead after 56 minutes. 

URI’s forwards continued to win a majority of ball for the Rams, but handling errors and poor judgement let several prime scoring opportunities slip by. At the 61 minute mark, another Kennedy penalty kick put URI back on top, but NH responded with more controlled ball and a penalty kick of their own to lead 20-19 at 70 minutes. From then on, however, the URI forwards took control of the game, maintaining possession and ultimately leading to Kennedy’s fourth penalty kick of the day three minutes later. The Rams kept play in the UNH end of the field to maintain the slim margin of victory. 

Rhode Island travels to Norwich University next Saturday. Vermont visits New Hampshire, while Coast Guard hosts BU.


New England CRC W L T Pa Pf Pd BT BL Pts
Norwich 1 0 0 12 0 12 0 0 4
Coast Guard 1 0 0 17 8 9 0 0 4
Rhode Island 1 0 0 22 20 2 0 0 4
New Hampshire 0 1 0 20 22 -2 0 1 1
Vermont 0 1 0 8 17 -9 0 0 0
Boston U. 0 1 0 0 12 -12 0 0 0