The Reds started off the summer rugby season with the 2nd Annual North Shore 10s tournament, held at Beverly High School. Blessed with another gorgeous day for rugby the Reds came out and swept the competition, beating Salem State, Cape Cod, Old Gold, and the Wasps en route to the finals. The Reds captured the trophy for the 2nd year in a row and look to grow the field each year and make this a must attend event.
Next up was the Newport 7s tournament, typically featuring the best 7s clubs in NERFU. The Reds went 2-1-1 on the day, twice beating a strong Salve Regina squad and going neck and neck with perennial 7s powerhouse Middlesex RFC in a 19-10 loss. Strong individual efforts from Sean Mahoney and Garret Santos (6 tries on the day) helped keep North Shore in the action.
Moving to Acton 10s, North Shore sent a pack-heavy squad that came out a bit flat, down 17-5 at the half during their first game to finish in a 31-29 nailbiter. NS lost a tight 17-5 game versus Mystic River, where they were in it until the last minute and Mystic popped one in to secure their lead. The Reds would move on to the plate bracket and receive a bye, where they would be up against UNH. NS poured on the tries and were extremely dominant in the pack, running up a 48-5 score. In the plate final NS lost a heartbreaker to a deep UMass Amherst squad, 12-5. NS lead 5-0 at the half, but the lack of depth in the back line kept them from threatening to put more points on the board.
Finally the summer series ended with the Gate City 7s in Nashua, NH. North Shore sent one of their all-time strongest 7s squads and it paid off, North Shore captured the cup, unfortunately full details, scores, etc. were lost in the celebration. However, it was a fine end to a strong summer campaign and hopefully a sign of things to come this fall and in future summers.
Some other highlights from the summer included the annual Prom Dress Rugby game (we'll forgo any pictures), well attended weekly summer trainings with Dan Solomon, and the CrossFit summer training sessions. After a successful summer and seeing numbers grow, players are eagerly awaiting the fall season and are poised to compete for a jersey each Saturday.
The Reds open up their season on September 6th, facing rivals Charles River at Moakley field. Having faced each other twice in the spring and several times at tournaments this summer, the two teams should be well acquainted and there should be few surprises left for either side. This should prove to be one of the most competitive Division 3 groupings in some time and we're looking forward to the challenge!
- Ian "Juggernaut" Nichols