By Maxx Steinmetz
Photos Courtesy of Kate Troy
RUTLAND — For the second year in a row, Mad River Rugby Football Club took home first place honors at Rutland’s home tournament, the Keith Page Memorial Rugby Invitational.
On a hot, sunny day Saturday, May 9, teams throughout New England battled each other in hopes of dethroning Mad River, the defending champions.
The first game took place between Black River RFC of Ludlow and Rutland RFC. After a slow, rocky start Rutland came out with a definitive victory, 27-5.
Rutland’s second game was against New Hampshire rivals, Monadnock RFC of Keene, who had handily beaten a Bennington squad in their first game. But Rutland used its momentum better and put up a score of 27-7.
During the finals against Mad River, however, Rutland’s momentum ran out. Injuries took a toll on players in addition to the skill of the opponents (Mad River consistently wins its division in the Fall season.).
Until the end of the second half, the game looked to be a shutout against Rutland, but the home team was able to capitalize on two occasions, scoring tries on both.
The final score was 45-14, Mad River successfully defending Invitation title.
In addition to the awards given to the finalists and the consolation final winners, Monadnock, a new award was given: Sam Brown of Ludlow’s Black River RFC was awarded the “Referee’s Choice” award, a golden moose skull, in recognition for his efforts of sportsmanship, skill, and tenacity on the pitch that day.