Rugby Handles United Park, Interstate Opponent from Missouri
This past Friday evening, the Blue Jay rugby team crossed swords with United Park, a squad from Kansas City, Missouri. The night prior, United had done battle with Brother Martin. United commanded much of the match with a brand of ground-and-pound Midwest rugby. Just when it looked as though the travelers would notch the victory, the Crusaders found their form and scored a last second try, prevailing 26-24. Feeling bitter if not battered, United looked to avenge their loss against the Jays.
It was not to be. The Jays were the aggressor on the front-foot from the first whistle. The Jays pinned United deep in their own half, where the visitors fought to hold their defensive line. But the Jays’ relentless pressure soon caused United to fumble. The Jays’ flyhalf, senior Andrew Newell, immediately attacked off the turnover and drew several disorientated United defenders to him before he zipped a well-conceived pass to senior fullback Otto Hirstius, who caught, squared, and then sat another United defender before tossing a well-weighted ball to senior outside center, Henry Guste, who crashed through the gap opened by Hirstius, only to make a classy last second offload to junior wing “Mr. Anderson” Happel, who hit full throttle on his way to scoring the first try of the match and the first try of his career.
The rest of the match was much the same: the Jays smothered United’s attack with withering defense and left the Kansas City boys gasping and grasping in the face of what several spectators called “scintillating rugby.” Final score: Jesuit 52, United Park 0. Senior halfback Matt Cashio led the way with three tries. Senior second row Timmy Peterman added two of his own. Happel, Newell, and Histius each added one as well.
Next up for Jesuit: a b-side match against Warren Easton (March 4). The following Friday, Jesuit’s A-side will face a duo of Texas rivals: Jesuit Dallas and Strake Jesuit (Houston). With the victory over United, the Jays have embarked on the most competitive season in Jesuit rugby history. This year, the Jays will face a murderer’s row of elite teams from across the country and the world:
- Gonzaga Rugby (DC) (currently, #1)
- De La Salle (CA) (currently #4, reigning national champion)
- Woodland Rugby (TX) (currently #6)
- Aspetuck (CT) (currently #13)
- La Salle Bros (PA) (currently #14)
- Ft. Hunt (VA) (currently #17)
- Pendleton (IA) (currently #25)
- Strake Jesuit (TX) (currently #26)
- Jesuit Dallas (TX) (currently #27)
- Germantown (TN) (currently #29)
- Shawnigan Lake School (British Columbia)
- St. Andrews College (South Africa)
Come support the Jays as they challenge the country, the world, and themselves.