Photo:Senior flyhalf Laurent Brabo running for Belmont’s first try against BC High.
In a battle of rugby royalty, Belmont High Boys’ is wearing the crown after a convincing 26-14 victory over defending Division 1 state champions Boston College High School on a soaked Harris Field, Wednesday, April 25.
After defeating last season’s number 1 and 2 teams (the Marauders thrashed St. John’s Prep, 38-23) in its first two matches of the season, Belmont can claim the top spot in Division 1 in Massachusetts.
While both teams had its hands full with the wet conditions, Belmont’s skill and tactics won out against the Eagles. As with their game against St. John’s Prep, it was Belmont’s dominance controlling the scrum where Belmont’s front seven was outweighed by both prep schools highlighting the Marauders’ control of the game.
Senior flyhalf Laurent Brabo eluded two BC High defenders to scamper 40 meters for Belmont initial try at the 11-minute mark and then easily converted the two-point conversion kick. (Brabo is fast becoming the program’s best ever kicker having scored a 45-meter penalty kick.)
It took the Marauders only five minutes to double the score to 14-0 when after soon after a great kick to touch to advance the ball near the BC High goal line, senior Sam Harris punched to through to score Belmont’s second try.
BC High halved the lead to 14-7 during its longest possession of the game, but Belmont would not be denied its third score when Will Lozano ran up the middle with five minutes remaining in the half to make the score 21-7.
Both teams came close to score in the initial 10 minutes of the second half but dropped balls and great defensive stances by the Eagles and Marauders halted the threats, Belmont would finish its scoring in the 57th minute to raise the score to 26-7 before BC High used some brute force to register its second try two minutes into extra time.
Girls’ Use Last Play To Eek Out Victory At Lincoln-Sudbury
On the final play of a game, Belmont High’s junior fullback Gabriella Viale tapped the ball to herself and scored the match-winning try as Belmont’s Girls’ Rugby defeated hosts Lincoln-Sudbury Regional, 17-12, in a contest played in a constant downpour on Wednesday, April 25.
Despite finding itself down 12-10 in the final 20 minutes, “[The team] was impressive since no one lost their cool, they never panicked. They were always composed,” said Belmont head coach Kate McCabe of her team.
After defeating its first two opponents by a combined 138-0, Belmont soon discovered the Warriors – which the Marauders squeaked out a 10-5 home victory last year – were ready to take on the defending state champions.
“They were really tough and super aggressive at the start of the game,” said Viale, who said the game certainly affected by the heavy rain with many dropped balls.
Belmont took the lead 5-0 through Viale before the Warriors tied the match at 5 going into the half. Junior Number Eight Grace Christensen gave Belmont the lead, 10-5, with a strong try early in the second half only to see Lincoln-Sudbury score and make the conversion kick to go ahead 12-10.
“It took a little while to get used to what they were doing but in the final 20 minutes we were playing within their 20 [meter],” said McCabe.
While they were on the front foot, Belmont waited until the games final seconds to score. A penalty was called on the Warriors near its goal line allowing Belmont to restart play as Lincoln-Sudbury was running back to line up defensively. Rather than pass the ball back, Viale tapped the ball with her boot and sprinted for the try. With Calista Weissman’s conversation kick, the ref blew the final whistle.
Belmont’s rematch with Lincoln Sudbury is May 30 at Harris Field.