The University of Rhode Island men’s rugby team fell to the University of Massachusetts 36-15 on a rainy and muddy Saturday afternoon.
The 1-2 Rams looked to right the ship after losing a close game to Tufts the week before. A game against the winless Minutemen seemed like the perfect opportunity to pick up another win, and move up in the standings.
After 30 minutes it seemed like URI and UMASS would be in for a close, hard fought match with UMass leading 10-7. Unfortunately, that is where things would start to get out of hand for the Rams, as they would get outscored 21-0 in the next 10 minutes to close the half 31-7.
“In the first half we put a good amount of pressure on them,” said head coach Warren Boothman. “There were stretches where we had them pinned on their side of the field. We also had a couple chances right on the goal line where we just could not punch the ball in.”
In the second half the Rams looked to make a comeback, converting a try and a penalty kick in the 62 and 65 minutes to close the score to 31-15. UMass would put the final nail in the coffin in the last minute of the game as they converted another try increasing their lead to 36-15.
“We definitely fought back hard in the second half,” Boothman said. “Still we were pretty inefficient. Just not taking advantage of the chances we had.”
Four games into the team’s first season in division 1A, Rhode Island has a record of 1-3 having scored 89 points and given up 116.
URI began the season on September 17 with a 41-16 loss to Northeastern, but quickly rebounded the next week beating Fairfield 40-15. The next two weeks would be losses to Tufts and UMass respectively.
“I think there were a couple games that we were the better team and should have won,” Boothman said. “Last week’s game against Tufts, I really thought we had the chance to dominate. Unfortunately we didn’t and they took advantage of that, and smoked us in the end.”
Even though the Rams have started slow, Boothman has not lost faith in his team at all.
“I definitely think we have the talent to compete at this level,” Boothman said. “We’ve played UMass in the past and in tournaments, and have played right with them. Last time we played them they beat us on a drop kick with no time left on the clock. We just have to mesh better as a team, and cut down on mistakes.”
The Rams season continues next Saturday, October 28, with a match against the first place UConn Huskies.. Following that game, the team will finish the season with two home league games against Stony Brook and Fordham.