After winning just one of the six games in its fall schedule, Old Methodist—Wesleyan’s rugby team—roared out of the gate in the spring opener against rival Conn College. Old Meth drubbed the Camels 39-0, displaying how dominant this team can be when it is playing at full strength with a cohesive strategy; playing without co-captain Dan Brugioni ’15 and Nick Guthrie ’15 for much of the fall, Wesleyan notched just 45 points across its first six games.
“Brugioni had torn a tendon on his index finger while tackling which made him incapable of moving a joint,” Blake Valenzuela ’15 explained in an email to The Argus. “Guthrie had broken his clavicle over summer vacation while playing rugby so he was out for the fall season. They’re crucial players in that they’re not only starters but they bring both experience and a sense of organization [and] structure to the field.”
Sam Arras ’13 got the scoring started for Old Meth, taking advantage of Wesleyan’s superior ball movement. The precision passing attack Old Meth employed early on got the ball to Arras with plenty of open space, allowing the winger to run it in for the try without much opposition. Knowing that it had the Camels on their heels, Old Meth let its athletes go to work. Arras outran two defenders and dove to ground the ball and give Wes its second try of the day, while Hanbin Wang ’15 powered through four people to turn what looked like a dead play into yet another score.
“We were just far more communicative, confident, and intense in the game,” Valenzuela wrote.
With Old Meth dominating in all facets of the game, the rout was on, but the team did not let up. Christian Lalonde ’13 had an open pass available but chose to fight through two defenders himself to clear the goal line. Brugioni set up Noah Schlesinger ’13 for an easy try, and Charles Bounds ’14 took a pass from Schlesinger and beat a Camel to the line. To cap off the onslaught, Brugioni willed his way to another Wes try with his toughness—chipping the ball to himself over the defense and absorbing a hit as he kicked it over to Bounds, who corralled the ball and took it in for the score.
To score at will is a great sign for Old Meth after the difficult fall. This time around, all of the guys are ready to go, and they’re looking to prove that this was no fluke in their second and final home game against Quinnipiac on Sunday, April 14.
“I believe that this win is only the tip of the iceberg for a successful Old Meth rugby season,” Valuenzuela declared. “On a whole, Old Meth is revamped and ready for a good challenge. I guess you can call us ‘The New Old Meth.’”