With the regular season coming to a close, the Geneseo men’s club rugby team—the Warthogs—played their last home game and first playoff game of the postseason against the SUNY Fredonia Blackhorses on Saturday Oct. 28. The game took place at Geneseo’s Letchworth field; the team has just started playing there this past year.
The Warthogs have had a fantastic season thus far, ranking No. 15 in the country for Division II teams. Previously, the Warthogs defeated the Blackhorses 55-7 during one of their last games of the regular season. The team looked to repeat history—hoping for an even larger winning margin.
While the rainy conditions were not optimal, the Blackhorses had yet to score a single point against the Warthogs by halftime, with a score of 29-0. The first try was scored by senior Simon Honig—a harbinger of victory for the rest of the game.
“The conditions were sloppy today,” head coach Steve Parker said. “Obviously we dropped balls, but we made adjustments to catch the passes the way we need to and slow down the ball.”
The Warthogs’ impenetrable defense, coupled with its solid offense, has helped the team advance. Out of the five regular season games played, the Warthogs have come out victorious four times, being narrowly defeated 49-47 by their rivals, SUNY Oswego.
Parker attributes the team’s success this season to their respective communication and a well spread out defense.
“We’re a very balanced team,” Parker said. “We can do either forward, which is more of a short distance, or we could do it out to our wings—we have very good wings.”
The second half of the game quickly picked up speed, with the Warthogs easily scoring another 22 points. The Blackhorses were unable to score a single point during the entirety of the game due to the Warthogs’ strong defense lineup, leading to a final score of 51-0.
This marks the second game the Warthogs have played this season where the opposing team was unable to score a single point, with the Warthogs previously coming out 47-0 against Rochester Institute of Technology.
“Our team has great cutting ability,” Parker said. “Either way, we can score with our forwards, we can score with our backs. Our forwards played a hell of a game, lots of tackling. It was a hard fought game.”
Currently, the Warthogs are the second seed in DII, right behind Oswego, with a season total of 228 and 300 points, respectively. This game against the Blackhorses was the second weekend of playoffs, with the first and second seeds getting a bye the first weekend. Next weekend, the Warthogs compete against Oswego one last time.
“The Geneseo Warthogs have been working really hard,” senior eight-man Joe Goldbloom said. “It’s great to know that Geneseo is being put on the map in the rugby world and I’m really proud of the team’s group effort. We did really well.”
Depending on the team’s success against Oswego, the Warthogs may have a chance to continue on to the DII national championship game.
“It’s something our [senior] class has been working toward since the first time that we stepped onto the practice field our freshman year,” senior forward Brian Drewes said.
With skilled athletes making up this year’s roster, the Warthogs feel confident about having one of the most successful seasons the team has seen.
The men will take on Oswego in the DII Upstate New York Conference Championship at 1 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 4 at Aardvark Park in Henrietta, N.Y.
Sports editor Darby Daly contributed in reporting this article.u