This weekend, the Rugby Cats came to Ohio’s state capital with a vengeance, looking for the first win of the season.
The Wildcats gathered in Ohio City and embarked on a journey to Columbus. The bus was silent for the 2-hour journey down to Columbus. The main factors that contributed to this silence included the absence of Coach White ‘92, who met us at the game, and most people decided to sleep and get rested up before the games. When the team arrived at Fortress Obetz, we unloaded our gear and headed into the beautiful state of the art locker room. The players put their kit and boots on. After getting fired up by senior Seamus McCarthy ‘19, the Wildcats took the pitch.
In opening seconds, outside center Anthony Labate ‘19 got the first penalty of the match when he took a man out of the air, though he was lucky it was only a penalty. The Cats eventually would get on the board but not without a string of penalties for hands in the ruck throughout the game.
Declan Boldy kicked off the scoring by splitting the uprights early in the first. Tommy Maloney touched down the first try of the day, followed by a Boldy conversion. John Stuhldreher and the Cats rammed home a try later in the first, with Boldy providing the conversion. At the end of the first, the Wildcats led, 17-0.
Fishers mounted a comeback effort in the second, managing to score 12 points. But in the end, the Wildcats would go on to survive the penalties and the points they conceded, earning a 17-12 win.
The Varsity B team would play next and the conditions were not a sight for sore eyes. The field was covered in bumps and divots and was completely muddy. Most likely, the field is what led several players to cramp up and have to be substituted for fresh legs. Junior Tommy Mulle helped to keep the team’s energy alive with several crushing tackles in only his second-ever game. Due to the field, fullback Nick Vitou ’19 found kicking to be extremely difficult and was unsuccessful in his conversions. When the final whistle blew, the Wildcats had secured the victory 15-12 over Fishers.
After the match, the team headed to the locker rooms, left them spotless, and filed into the bus. The team was delighted to see that the always amazing rugby parents had delivered the team KFC for the ride home, which was greatly appreciated after hard-fought victories. After the team ate, the bus became quiet once again as we returned home to Cleveland.
The Rugby Cats have a quadruple-header this weekend on Wasmer Field. The team will play Detroit Catholic Central on Friday, Brunswick and Perrysburg on Saturday, and finish off with Saint Joseph's Prep (PA) on Sunday. Come support the Rugby Cats this weekend – we hope to see you there!