History was made April 17 when the Rye High’s Rugby Club Boys’ team hosted their first home game on the turf under the lights in front of nearly 500 fans.
By Melanie Cane
History was made April 17 when the Rye High’s Rugby Club Boys’ team hosted their first home game on the turf under the lights in front of nearly 500 fans. They lost a hard-fought and well-played contest to a much more experienced Fordham Prep, 19-18. The game could have gone either way. In the end it came down to proper positioning and penalties.
Sophomore Cameron Kamer who, along with his brother Mike, founded the Rye Rugby Club said, “It was great to see all the hard work that Mike and I put into the program pay off that outstanding night.” Coach Lara Vivolo added, “Despite the loss, the entire coaching staff and every supporter in the stands could not have been prouder. What a game! What a fight to the finish!”
The Garnets worked on offense, defense, positioning, and reducing penalties in practice the week after the loss and improved enough to win their second home game against Lycée Français of New York City on April 24, 14-5. This game was very physical and intense with a lot of big runs, mauls, and tackles from both sides. Freshman Stewart Moore opened the scoring with a great 10-meter run to give Rye the lead, 5-0. Senior Captain Patrick Condon kicked the conversion. Coach Vivolo chose Condon as the captain because, “He’s a natural leader. He has maturity as an individual, and rugby player. His position on the field (scrum half) is a huge part of the team’s success.”
The Lynx went on the attack in the second half. The Garnets put up a very strong defense, but the Lynx overwhelmed them and scored 12 minutes in. Freshman winger Michael Davitt answered with his third try of the season and, once again, Condon kicked the conversion. Stewart Moore scored the other try in the second half. Lycée Français kept up the attack, but the Garnets were able to hold them off.
After the game, Kamer said, “Our coaches did a great job teaching us to improve upon our play in the Fordham game.” Coach Vivolo said, “Our defense improved tremendously from that game to the Lycée Français game. Every player is learning more about what their individual role is on the field. I’ve always believed that offense wins games, but defense wins championships…and that is one of our goals with this team down the road.”
The team is currently 1-1-1.
The Girls’ rugby team, which has ten members, played on the turf for the first time April 24. They had a phenomenal opening game, beating the French-American School 37-10. Cadia Zahm opened the scoring with her first of four tries of the evening. Lily McGinty made two conversions.
They played their second home game against Brooklyn Rugby Football Club the following day, winning 37-25. Brooklyn was a physically bigger and stronger team, but the Garnets adapted by tackling lower, breaking the gain line, and supporting on offensive runs. McGinty, Kate Bird, Alessandra Raiford, and Zahm all scored three.
“What a fantastic weekend for Rye Rugby,” said Vivolo. “The support and enthusiasm from the team, families, school district, and community has been incredible.”
Their next home match is May 9, Garnet Day, versus New Rochelle.