By Konrad Pabianczyk
On April 14th at 6:30PM, the NJIT Rugby teams hosted Rutgers New Brunswick in a scrimmage and won 22 to 10. For those who donâ€™t know, rugby is similar to a combination of European and American football. It uses a ball that is of similar shape to a football, but is much bigger. The ball may only be run or kicked forward and the goal is to get the ball across the try line, similar to a touchdown. Scoring differs slightly in that a â€œtouchdownâ€, or try, is 5 points and a kick through the goal posts, called a conversion, is worth 2 points. The game had a half of 40 min and another of 35. Time does not stop. The game is full contact and is essentially nonstop action.
The NJIT Rugby team plays in the Empire Rugby Union of New York, rather than the NCAA, and is a Division III team. A few schools in our division are Maritime, Bard, Drew, and Stony Brook. On the other hand, Rutgers has DI, DII and DIII Rugby teams and brought their B team, which had members from all divisions. DI schools consist of West Point, Navy and Princeton.
Before the game, the coach stated that it was going to be â€œtoughâ€ and that Rutgers had a â€œvery good program.â€ Despite this, the Highlanders were still able to solidify their three game winning streak with a respectable 22 to 10, having previously defeated Morris and Drew, with a score of 15-0 over the latter. The Rutgers B program was actually undefeated up until this point.
The score breakdown consisted of 4 tries and a conversion from NJIT and 2 tries from Rutgers. These were scored by the captain, Edison Jakupi (#8, Prop), Gregory Geueke (#13, Outside Center), and two by Trevor Panciello (#10, Fly-Half), in that order. The Rutgers tries were score by Adam Coulson (#6, Flanker) and Dylan Lyan (#14, Wing).
The NJIT rugby program is fairly new and is only in its first season. Nevertheless, we are holding our own and showing a strong presence. The program is coached by Mark Petraglia, who has played for 26 year and coached for six years at Parsippany High School for 6 years, for two years at Rowan and for two at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The next NJIT rugby game will be played on Sunday, April 21st at 6:30PM against Drew. Come out and support your Highlanders!