The Franciscan University Barons rugby team lost 29-12 to the Christendom College Crusaders at a home game Saturday at 1 p.m. following an alumni game.
This was the first time the Barons met the Crusaders, who are national champions, since they faced off at a tournament in Wheeling earlier this month. Franciscan had come in fourth out of 12 teams, and Christendom came in third.
The match was played with two 30-minute halves and was hard fought from the beginning. The Crusaders received the ball, but Franciscan soon took possession. Despite stiff resistance, the Barons battled the ball down the field.
After shifting the ball up and down the line and multiple rucks, senior forward Tom Toblemann broke through and ran the ball in for the first try of the game. The conversion kick was good, making the score 7-0, Franciscan.
From there, the action got hotter. Penalties piled up for both teams, as well as injuries. Junior back Ethan Peterson exited the game due to a shoulder injury.
The Crusaders climbed their way up, and, despite an additional try by senior prop Luke Hall, the second half ended with the final score as 29-12, Christendom.
Jason Adams, head rugby coach, said the Barons did an “absolutely fantastic job” and that he was “super proud of each one (of the players).”
This season, the Barons have been playing sevens, a type of rugby where a team of seven players play two seven-minute halves; however, for this match, they returned to the style of rugby fifteens, which they played in the fall.
Prior to the match, alumni players of Franciscan and Christendom played a match, which persisted in spite of a non-functioning scoreboard. After donning their old uniforms, the alumni took to the field at 11 a.m. for the kick-off.
The alumni played three halves before a cheering crowd as the temperatures went to over 80 degrees. The two teams were neck-and-neck for most of the match, but Christendom won in the end.
After the matches, the two teams and alumni went to Bennigan’s, where they were joined by Scott Hahn, who holds a doctorate in Biblical theology. Hahn, who had a number of his sons play rugby in the past, spoke on the value of virtue and Christian friendship and how rugby helps to develop both.
This was the rugby team’s last home game of the season. The Barons’ next game is the Allegheny Rugby Union sevens Championship at Clarion University of Pennsylvania April 30.