The Stony Brook men’s rugby team defeated Rhode Island in a 49-39 thriller on Saturday, Oct. 7 at the University of Rhode Island.
“The guys really stepped up today, they played real well, good structure, good composure, they kept it together very well,” head coach Jerry Mirro said.
Stony Brook lost its previous matchup against No. 17 Iona by a score of 72-5. Despite the tough loss only a week ago, the team bounced back on Saturday even with the Rhode Island team constantly knocking at its door.
The Seawolves put themselves on the scoreboard first with a drop goal. However, the Rams quickly recovered and started to heat up. Rhode Island built itself a 20-6 lead midway through the first half.
Mirro’s advice to his players was echoed throughout play.
“Stay under control, keep your composure, don’t differentiate from the game plan,” Mirro said. “That’s what we did and that’s why we came out on the top end today.”
The team stayed calm and scored 14 unanswered points to tie the game up at halftime.
“We had a pretty good closing of the first half,” senior fullback Sean Davis said. “So really the mentality was just to keep it up, build on that momentum, and just keep doing what we are doing.”
Stony Brook came out of halftime by scoring two tries in a row. Rhode Island scored a total of three tries in the second half; however, Stony Brook was able to respond with a try of its own every time.
“We were moving it really tight, just getting our big guys against their big guys,” Davis said. “The idea was we’re going to tire them out and then swing it out wide and beat them with speed on the outside.”
Davis certainly beat Rhode Island with speed, scoring two of Stony Brook’s five tries.
The team was able to keep the lead for the rest of the game because of the strategy they employed this week and the hard work they put in during practice, according to Mirro.
“We built on last week, we geared the game to the forwards because I thought the forwards played well last week so we kept it in tight, put the ball in the air with a lot of high kicks,” Mirro said.
Stony Brook will look to continue this success in its next game on the road against the University of Delaware on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m.