It was a proud moment for the Aspetuck Valley Rugby Club when Wilton freshman Ryan Robb was announced Captain of the Connecticut representative rugby team to play in two games against Boston and New York respectively last Sunday. Joined by Weston freshman Max Carroll, and Redding sophomore Lewis Grassie, the trio were integral members of the Connecticut select team.
On a humid and hot day, the boys traveled the three hours to Fort Deven, northwest of Boston, for the New England rugby tournament. Playing their regular positions, Robb anchoring the scrum, Carroll controlling the backline from fly-half and Grassie covering the back of field at fullback, the Aspetuck three started off the day against the Boston team. Playing to an advantage, the Boston boys who were regulars as a team, put a couple of early forceful tries into the Connecticut team, which had only practiced once together.
Playing shortened halves of 22 minutes each, it was a tough road to halftime, holding a bigger Boston team back. At the 15 minute mark Robb separated his shoulder. With only substitute backs on the sideline he opted to see the half out rather than leave his side short.
The strength of the Boston team continued through the second half with another three tries against Connecticut. However, the Boston kicker failed to convert all of his teams’ five tries.
With an hour break the Connecticut team re-hydrated and took the field with renewed vigor for their second game versus New York, led onto the field by Grassie. New York, another team that played together weekly was too collective against the fragmented Connecticut team. Five minutes from the final whistle, while saving a try scoring run, Grassie was injured and was forced from the game.
Playing two full games of defense with very little opportunity to attack and now with no substitutes was extremely difficult for the Connecticut team, as evidenced twice in the second half when Carroll took a final knock to the head and lay motionless for what seemed an eternity prior to the end of the game. He shook it off and continued with his adopted team until the end.