By Alex Kerravala, Staff Writer
After an intense bout in the cold rain, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s men’s rugby team slaughtered Western New England University, ending the game at 27-5.
The game started off with an almost immediate successful penalty kick on the UMass Dartmouth side from fly-half Matt Kilmonis, giving the Corsairs a lead right from the start. Following some incredible tackles by inside center, Louis Saladino and wing Tevin Afousecca.
Eight-man Dickie Gralton had a fantastic time carrying the ball along with locke Guilmond Torres. These great runs by the Corsairs led to a very frazzled WNE defense. In an attempt to regain control of the game the Bears committed a litany of penalties leading to another Kilmonis penalty kick.
The story of the game read much of the same as this. Outside center Antone Gomes had a fantastic game, making defensive stops all over the field as well as being a weapon offensively. Kilmonis was able to score yet again, but this time with a try (the rugby equivalent of a touchdown) plus a two point conversion kick setting the score at 13-0.
Prior to the half ending WNE managed to put together a decent drive down the field. While UMass had been controlling the game, a 13-0 lead was far from safe in a fast paced game like rugby. However, Gomes and company put together a fantastic goal line stand to keep WNE out of the end-zone.
Western New England came out fighting in the second half though. After solid set of runs, UMassD committed a set of penalties that led to WNE knocking on the end-zone door. While the Corsairs fought hard, it was simply not enough to keep WNE out of the end-zone as they scored their first try making the game 13-5.
After this, Umass Dartmouth begins to play significantly better defensive than they did in the first half. After a penalty for high tackling, Kilmonis is able to get yet another penalty kick, making it his third of the game and a score of 16-5.
The game began to move much slower after this, with less moments that stand out, but the team as a whole played with a terrific defense. Gralton and Gomes stand out to some degree for being able to advance closer to WNE’s goal line, allowing flanker Justin McKinney managed to convert a try from a great Gralton run for a try. The Corsairs took a commanding 23-5 lead.
Overall UMass Dartmouth played extremely well, besting Western New England at nearly every aspect of the game. Lineouts more often than not went to UMass Dartmouth, and the scrums were a pretty dead even split. This game was nothing short of impressive.
MVP of the game has to go to Kilmonis, without a doubt. He scored every point there was to score in this game, aside from five. But that’s not to say he did it unassisted. Other notable performances to scrum-half Jake Melcohe, Gomes, McKinney, and prop Daniel McIntosh. These men were very aggressive, whether it be a strong and much needed tackle, or for the offensive ground they were able to take.
This was the third game of the conference, and a much needed win. The first game was a one try game lost to Endicott, followed by a win 18-7 against Johnson & Wales. Considering Western New England University is seen as the better team, this is a huge win for Umass Dartmouth Rugby. The next Umass rugby game is Saturday October 14, at Plymouth State University.