PURFC traveled to play Brown at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, MA, with only 45% of its players available due to the long university clearance process in place this season.
The starting line-up consisted of a newly formed front row in light of the season-ending injury last week to Senior Nezim Mmegwa, the team’s tight head prop and leading try scorer and leading ball carrier.
With no A-side subs available the starters had to play the full match against a Brown side that were significantly bigger, man for man, in every position.
The day was very wet and heavy rain kept falling throughout the match resulting in many knock-ons, which led to more scrums in one game than one usually sees in a season. Scrums also had to be constantly re-set following multiple slips resulting in numerous collapses. The conditions strongly favored Brown and they coped much better, using their large forward pack to bludgeon their way forward.
Brown has a very strong side marked by experience and size. They also have several graduate students now able to play under the revised USA Rugby rules. This included a graduate student who played at tight head prop and who had been an OLB on the Vanderbilt football team, a New Zealand second row who had been on the Brown crew team, as well as another big and athletic graduate student, a former Brown football player, who came on as a replacement prop.
Princeton’s only try came when Brown was penalized for a scrum collapse and a quick tap from scrum half and co-captain Mark Goldstein resulted in the PURFC try. Mark was also the team’s Man of the Match.
Both teams used a 10’s match for a B-side developmental game following the A-side match.
The Ivy schedule doesn’t get any easier. Princeton travels to Harvard next weekend to take on the Crimson in a late afternoon fixture at their new rugby venue in Cambridge. Two weeks ago, Harvard comprehensively beat Brown 53-15.
We would like to thank Brown for its hospitality post-match and wish them well for the remainder of the season.