Greenwich High rugby opens season in dominating fashion

The Greenwich High School rugby team battled Xavier High School during Saturday's contest at Cardinal Stadium last year. — John Ferris Robben photo

The Greenwich High School rugby team battled Xavier High School during Saturday’s contest at Cardinal Stadium last year. — John Ferris Robben photo

The Greenwich High School rugby team finally opened its season on the road last Wednesday against a very big, physical New Rochelle High School team.

Greenwich’s speed and depth, and an impenetrable defense, proved too much as they rolled to a 86-0 win. In total, 10 different players had tries with center Mitchell Nethercott scoring four, High School All-American Jack Weigold with two, and Greenwich’s two All-American wings, Jack Freiheit and Luke Beinstock,each scoring one try apiece.

Scrum-half Soh Nakayama, another All-American for the Cardinals, kicked eight conversions.

This past Saturday, Greenwich competed in the 12th annual Four Leaf 15’s Tournament on Randall’s Island, N.Y.

With 28 social teams, 21 colleges, and seven high school teams, and a late season winter storm that dumped six inched of fresh snow on the fields, Greenwich dominated the high school pool.

Again, Greenwich’s explosive offense and depth, combined with a strong defensive effort, fueled the way for a High School Pool Championship.

In the opening round of their bracket, Greenwich defeated St. Francis, N.Y. 53-0. Freiheit had four tries and Joe De Muyt had two.

The second game saw Greenwich defeat Ridgefield High School, 31-0. Nakayama and fullback Bryce Stanback both had two tries with Soh kicking three conversions.

The third game Greenwich defeated Fairfield, 35-0. Five different players scored tries for the Cardinals with Soh Nakayama converting all five conversions.

In the semifinal game, Greenwich beat St. Anthony’s High School, 60-0. Again, Greenwich’s depth was evident as eight different players scored tries with Frank Albano and Kevin Iobbi scoring two each. Patrick McTernan kicked five conversions.

In the finals for the High School pool, Greenwich again beat Fairfield, 40-0. Freiheit and Weigold each scored two tries with Nakayama converting five conversions.

For the day, wing Freiheit scored six times with Weigold and De Muyt adding four apiece. Nakayama had fifteen conversions and two tries for the overall scoring total of forty points. Greenwich was playing without wing Luke Beinstock, who was in route to England with the All-American team for the Rosslyn Park 7’s Tournament.

Greenwich’s next game is Friday at home against Stamford Academy, and they then travel to the Jesuit Rugby Classic in Leesburg, Va. on April 11, hosted by Gonzaga High School.

The following weekend they travel on the road to Xavier High School in New York City.

Greenwich finished sixth in the High School National Championships last year and has a majority of the team back this season.

With a strong coaching staff led by Joe Kelly, and with four All-American players and an additional five that were invited to tryouts Greenwich is looking for another strong season. Greenwich will participate in the HS National Championships again in May and will also field a strong 7’s team in the Collegiate Rugby Championships Tournament in Philadelphia over the Memorial Day weekend.

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