CRWRFC splits Round Robin, Charles River men rise to the challenge against Providence
Charles River women headed to Albany for a Round Robin and finished the day at 1-1. The men traveled to Rhode Island to challenge themselves up a level, taking on DII Providence, and rose above it to take home the W.
Charles River Women Round Robin w/Albany & Ithaca
On a hot, sunny day in Albany, the Lady Rats split their Round Robin Saturday with a win against Ithaca and a loss to DI Albany.
CRWRFC  – ALBANY 
CRWRFC faced off against a higher division opponent this past weekend, taking on DI Albany at their home turf of Dick Green Field in Albany, NY. A much closer match than the scoreboard tells, the Lady Rats fought hard throughout the match, keeping the game heavily between the 22s.
Rising star Rat Becca “Rex” Nashett had a stellar game as outside center. Coming up hard on defense and making life tough for the opposing back line throughout the match, she helped contain their movement. Some great cuts by inside center Courtney Allen gave the Rats some movement of their own as well. New player Annie Thompson, strapping on the boots in her first ever rugby match after only two practices, made some key play-saving tackles at fullback.
The forwards saw most of the action in the match, with Albany trying to use their forwards to gain ground. Captain Julie “Traut” Trautwein lead her pack with great tackles and solid rucking to maintain possession. Melissa Dunn turned the loose head prop role into a second hooker, helping flow in the scrums. It’s a fair guess to say there were about 3,400 scrums this match.
A consistent defensive pillar, 8-man Susan Lackey made some key defensive plays, including the Hit of the Day against Albany’s wing, folding her in two like an origami swan.
Twice in the match Albany was able to squeak by on the outside and touch down two tries. Although Charles River was able to contend towards the try line for much of the match, the ladies couldn’t quite get it over the line and the final whistle blew with the score 10-0. It was a great effort with some new players against a DI opponent.
CRWRFC  – ITHACA 
The second match of the day saw the Lady Rats against a new opponent in the Ithaca Avengers Women’s club. The Lady Rats dominated much of this second match, however Ithaca was able to get the ball out wide 20m out from the try and break the wing for a run into the try zone. From then on, CRWRFC was able to dominate rucks and scrums in forward play and get some nice movement down the line.
About 25m out from the try zone, Charles River took a solid banger run to set a good ruck for possession. Jehanne “JugGs” Junguenet, who had moved to scrumhalf from second row, got the ball out to a line of forwards set to move. Like two old friends coming back together, Susan Lackey took the ball, drew her defender, and passed out to returning Old Girl Sarah “Bee” Wetherbee who hit a hole hard and ran the ball in for a breakaway try. Captain Traut hit the conversion and the Lady Rats took the lead 7-5 which they wouldn’t relinquish.
At the final whistle, CRWRFC had the W and a 1-1 finish for the day.
Charles River Men  – Providence Rugby 
The Charles River men extended their winning streak to four matches Saturday with a thrilling 32-29 road victory over Division II side Providence.
The Rats, who were missing several starters and had a number of others playing out of position, surrendered the first 12 points of the afternoon but stormed back, slowing chipping away at their hosts’ lead before finally jumping ahead for good more than 60 minutes after kickoff.
Captain Corey Lang, who got the nod at No. 10 in the absence of flyhalf extraordinaire Ricky Friberg, got Charles River on the board with a penalty kick from just inside the 22-meter line. Eight-man Ellis Patrick then found a seam in the Providence back line and scampered 70 meters for River’s first try of the game, trimming the deficit to 12-10.
Providence responded by breaking off a 90-yard try, but it failed to slot the conversion, and Lang booted another penalty at the 40-minute mark to cut it to 17-13 heading into halftime.
As it did to open the game, Providence came out firing after the break, scoring a converted try to stretch its lead to 24-13. Previous Charles River teams had a tendency to melt down in these types of situations, coming apart at the seams as their opponents pulled away for easy victories.
But as they’ve proven time and again this spring, these Rats are different. Rather than lose composure, River responded by dotting down three consecutive tries to grab a lead they would not relinquish.
Lang scored the first, receiving the ball off a ruck from inside Providence’s 5-meter line and burrowing his way into the try zone. A successful conversion brought the Rats back to within four. A pick-and-go quickly afterwards try by scrumhalf Ian Robinson put them ahead for good.
Outside center Dana Etherington closed out the scoring for the River boys, receiving a nifty pass from Ellis Patrick and taking it the distance. An unconverted Providence try in the match’s final moments proved to be too little, too late.
Ellis Patrick took home Man of the Match honors for the forwards, with wing-turned-fullback “Wee” Pat Cavallario doing so for the backs.