Rugby thrives in Ireland
The Trevs placed high in both of their tournaments
April 29, 2016
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While students traveled to warm places over spring break to relax on the beach, the New Trier Rugby Club took 32 of its 65 players on a pre-season rugby tour in Ireland.
“The trip was amazing and getting to go to a foreign country with some of your best friends and compete at a high level of rugby with other teams was incredible,” said Senior captain Charlie Stimson.
“Not only was the rugby fun, but getting to see the country and learn about the culture was also a great experience.”
Head coach Leo Sheridan said it was a good opportunity for the team to play with higher competition and in a place where people start playing rugby at a very young age.
Sheridan’s brother and fellow coach, Tim Sheridan, added, “It was also the intent to show the players what rugby is really all about, and that it is the friendship and camaraderie that we all share as part of a rugby community.”
Leo Sheridan explained the sport as having a continuous 80 minutes of play. “Rugby is a continuous running offensive game with defensive tackling, comparable to hockey and soccer,” he said.
The club left for Ireland on March 17 and returned March 25. The club has gone on trips to North Carolina and Texas a few times, but it has never ventured overseas.
The team’s first game was against Clongowes Wood College in Kildare, Ireland on March 19. Clongowes won the game 37-7.
“After the first game we realized we needed to compete at a higher level and play a different kind of rugby than we’re used to,” Stimson said.
“It was a great learning experience seeing the way they played compared to the competition we had in the states.”
Senior captain Peter Sorensen agreed. “After we lost our first match, we were discouraged and thought that the rest of the matches would be the same,” he said.
“We learned a lot from the loss and came together as a team so we were able to perform well in the two tournaments.”
While the team lost their first game, they were able to tie in the next tournament and win their final tournament.
Tim Sheridan said, ultimately, the boys played with a lot of heart and came a long way by the end of the week.
“At each club the captains exchanged club ties and New Trier presented each team with a New Trier Rugby Club plaque to display in their clubhouses,” said Tim Sheridan. “The home teams hosted New Trier with a meal and conversation, and in one town, even a little bit of song.”
Senior captain Lucas Bartzis said, “It’s always fun to play a game and have a social with the opponents afterward. In retrospect, I would not trade my experience in Ireland for a vacation elsewhere.”
Besides playing rugby, the team also had the opportunity to watch an Irish National rugby team play Scotland in Dublin Stadium. Captain Joe Lewis said it was entertaining to see professionals play rugby and it was an enjoyable experience.
After returning from Ireland, the club said they are looking forward to their upcoming season. The rugby club has Tier 1 teams which consist of Tier 1 A and Tier 1 B. Tier 1 is considered the highest level. There is also a Freshman/Sophomore team that has their first game April 6. Tier 1 started April 10.
New Trier is one of the top teams in the state and was undefeated going into the final competition last year.
“I’m extremely excited for this season,” Stimson said. “We have a lot of returning seniors and some of us have been playing together for four years. We expect to win the state championship this year.”