Photo: Belmont Rugby.
Before the season began, Belmont High Rugby’s Head Coach Greg Bruce said he had heard rumblings that Boston College High School’s rugby club would be a challenger this year.
“BC High is coming into the season with high hopes,” said Bruce, noting that Belmont defeated BC High twice last season, including in last year’s playoff semifinals.
“But they’ve been really quiet about what they’re doing so that makes me wonder.”
Bruce’s speculation of the Eagles’ aptitude was in evidence on a wind-swept field in Boston’s Columbia Point as Belmont came upon a highly physical BC High XV (for 15 players) that used its skill to win the ball after each tackle to take control of the match to defeat the visitors, 20-7, on Wednesday, April 15.
Belmont currently sports a 2-1 record against Division 1 teams, and 3-1 overall.
After falling behind 5-0, Belmont’s senior captain Darren Chan faked out a defender and sped 25 meters for a five-point try (similar to scoring a touchdown) with Luke Gallagher kicking the two-point conversion to put Belmont out in front.
But the host Eagles were able to take advantage of their superior skill at winning “breakouts” – the time after a tackle when players group over the ball to take possession of the ball – and not allowing Belmont to play its game of running its quick backs against its opponents.
While Belmont threatened BC through out the game, moving in close three times in the second half, BC High was able to make the stops they needed. A pair of late trys sealed the game in BC High’s advantage.
Belmont Rugby is currently on a week-long playing tour on the Algarve Coast of Portugal before meeting another historically-strong team, St. John’s Prep High School, on Wednesday, April 29, at 7 p.m. at Harris Field.