Rugby faces second senior club of season

Reporter and Reporter

The BG rugby club will be playing some old faces this weekend, as it takes on an Eastern Suburbs squad comprised mostly of former Falcons.

Seven of the starting 15 players for the senior men’s team are BG graduates. They run the same offense and have the same style of defense, so it will be a mirror image on the field this weekend.

Eastern Suburbs’ lock Justin Rutledge and hooker Mark Viviani were a part of the 2011 Falcons rugby squad, that was ranked third in the nation. Center Scott Wallace was a part of three national championship campaigns.

There may be some talking on the field between the teams, but both squads respect one another, as they have both lived up to BG’s expectations. But don’t expect any of the former players to lie back on some tackles.

“They’re a very physical team,” said wing Nolan Cavano. “Our offensive and defensive executions need to be spot on.”

One of the great assets of the Falcons this season has been their depth. While that has certainly helped out in a backfield dinged by minor injury, it has also given the regulars at other positions a chance to take a breather, as games wound down without any loss of pace or intensity.

It has been evident in the back row battery of flankers Rick Suda and Robbie Oswald and eight man Dylan Connor.

“The three of them are absolutely ferocious tacklers on defense while at the same time possessing a good sense of when to slow things down when the offense starts to get sloppy,” said Roger Mazzarella, director of rugby.

BG has continued to fill in holes of injury. Cavano and wing Ryan Koenig have been temporary losses along with fullback Matt Marquette.

Center Trent Szente and fly half Mike Ziegler have given the Falcons another large presence in the backfield.

The big news this week is the possible return of Dominic Mauer in a couple weeks. He has been studying abroad this semester and could make it back before the national tournament.

The game will kickoff Saturday in Cleveland at 1 p.m.