The Fairfield men’s rugby team earned their second straight victory on Sunday, defeating SUNY New Paltz 51-13 in their first home game of the season.

The Red Ruggers, coming off a win by forfeiture against Hofstra last week, started off the game hot and did not let up the entire time, proving to be too much for New Paltz. After scores by Alfonse Simeone ’14 and Johnny Rosito ‘13 put Fairfield up 18-0, RJ Howley ’14 added a conversion to his earlier penalty kick, increasing the Fairfield lead to 25-0.

The Red Ruggers were able to add another score before halftime, with Euroy Smith ’14 getting out wide and beating the New Paltz defense, scoring underneath the goal posts. New Paltz was able to add a score right before the half, but the game was seemingly out of reach at the halftime huddle, with the Red Ruggers up 32-5.

Senior Dan McGrath added a score after halftime, followed by Smith again breaking out wide and proving himself faster than the New Paltz defense, scoring for the second time on the day. Senior captain John Sullivan added a late score to cap off the game for the starters, and Fairfield could cruise to the blowout victory, allowing some lesser used players to gain some playing time.

Smith, who had not played in a collegiate rugby match before this season, was happy to get the two scores at home, but was happier with the team’s efforts.

“I think we played exceptionally well. We played as a team and stayed very aggressive,” said Smith. “We had a really tough loss to Vassar two weeks ago, so with that still in our memories we wanted to come out strong from the jump to make sure that wouldn’t happen again.”

“As a team, we are going to enjoy the win, but can’t forget that we have three more big games coming up. The main thing for us is to make sure we keep practicing and playing in unison.”

Head Coach of the Red Ruggers, Mike Barnett, was also happy with the team’s execution on both offense and defense.

“We executed. All you can do is try to get better week to week, and we’re right now on that path,” said Barnett. “We graduated a lot of guys last year, and it’s a testament to this group and how dedicated these guys are to make each other better.”

Despite being a new player to the team this year, Smith has been impressed with the dynamic of the team this year, both on the field and off. He says the team has an overall relaxed attitude, but is focused on improving as a unit throughout the season.

“The individuals on the team work to get better everyday in practice. We aren’t afraid to get on each other, but only for the sake of getting better as a whole,” said Smith.

“Our goal is to make the national playoffs, and to get there we have to make sure everyone has tunnel vision.”

Fairfield now heads to Seton Hall next Sunday to continue their winning streak. The Pirates dropped to 2-3 recently, but Barnett knows Fairfield needs to stay focused in order to finish the season on top.

“No game is an easy win. We have to go out there and execute our game plan, and if we do that, we’ll put ourselves in a good position.”

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.