AIC Men’s Rugby 3-0 with win over New Hampshire
By Doug Coil
AIC Men’s Rugby remained undefeated with a 3-0 record after a 93-0 over the University of New Hampshire. After three matches, the teams has scored 241 points while surrendering 17 for a differential of 224. The team averages 80.3 points scored, while giving up 5.6 points per match.
Against New Hampshire, the AIC Men’s Rugby squad included a number of freshmen and new players to begin the match and they performed well under the leadership of captains Jihad Khabir and Stephen Fobes.
Shortly after half, the entire second side entered the match, while still retaining the shutout.
AIC Men’s Rugby scored 15 tries against New Hampshire, with nine tries during the first half and six more after the break. Nine conversions were also made, as Magistrali had four and Ajeigbe five, in AIC’s dominant 93-0 win over New Hampshire.
Multiple tries were scored by Jihad Khabir (4) during the first half, while Malik Wilbon added a hat trick during the second half .
It took only four minutes for Malik Walker to take the ball from a lineout in for a try. After the conversion by Magistrali, AIC had a 7-0 lead. Jihad Khabir then cut inside, after the ball went wide, for a try three minutes later and Magistrali converted increasing the lead to 14-0.
In the 14th minute, the AIC forwards drove forward from a scrum and Jon Ortiz picked up the ball and offloaded to Jihad Khabir for a try with Magistrali converting again. AIC claimed the restart and used quick hands to the wing CJ Cotton, who went in for a try from the wide channel two minutes later. Magistrali remained perfect with his fourth conversion for a 28-0 lead.
AIC Men’s Rugby continued to be on fire, as Cristian Ortega took an offload from Kyle Brown in for a try and increased their lead to 33-0 after the 18th minute.
AIC would run in another four tries before the break in the 27th, 30th, 32nd and 36th minutes. Tommy Clark scored from a line break. Jihad Khabir added two from a kick & chase and from a line break, both converted by Demi Adjeibe. Nick Rivera scored from the wide channel with the conversion by Adjeibe for a 59-0 lead at the break.
During the second half, many substitutions were made by AIC, but the offensive assault continued.
Malik Wilborn added two tries from line breaks in the 57th & 60th minutes, the first which was converted by Ajeigbe, for a 71-0 lead. Tries were scored by Darrin Fernandez in the 65th minute out wide, by Kyle Brown five minutes later from a line break and in the 75th minute as Chris Mills scored from the ball being cycled wide.
The final AIC try came in the 77th minute, as Malik Wilbon added his hat trick from a quick tap off a penalty for the 93-0 victory.
AIC will travel to play Endicott College in Beverly, MA on Friday, September 29.
AIC Men’s Rugby Quotes
AIC Men’s Rugby Head Coach Rob Guiry: “Hats off to UNH for answering the call and coming down to AIC today. After the conference realignments this summer, we sent out the call looking for matches and UNH was one of the first teams to schedule a match. They want to take their program to the next level and showed a lot of courage and grit in today’s game. We’re looking forward to being in D1A next year where we have challenges on a weekly basis, but this game served as a great opportunity to get our young Yellow Jackets some quality minutes.”
Nick Rivera, Jr Flanker: “I thought that we started off really slow, first 10 minutes was kind of shaky. Once we fell into our shape then the tries started coming. It was nice to see that once the younger guys got in, there was almost no change in pace.”
Josh King, Fr Prop: “We played good. I feel like we still need to get forwards ball set better. It was a great feeling to get my first start as a Yellow Jacket!”