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McGill Wins Mug at MBA Rugby World Championships

On April 5th, 2006 a small group of dedicated athletes boarded a bus in front of Bronfman and began the journey of a lifetime. The group left for Duke University in Durham, NC with only one goal in mind - to return without injuries. This goal was of utmost importance as we had exactly the number of players required for the women's team (7) and only twelve of the required fifteen players for the men's team (thankfully we had two cowboys from Calgary fly in to join us for some games - when they weren't playing for Stanford). Any injuries and we risked being disqualified. Did we mention that we're ruggers?

Upon arrival in Durham the teams checked into the hotel and immediately began preparing for the MBA World Rugby Championships hosted by Duke University. Both the men's and women's team shook off their bus legs with a brief training session on the small patch of grass next to their hotel. Following the workout the teams had a pre-party meal at the local Outback Steakhouse, immediately followed by an evening on the town in nearby Chapel Hill.

On Friday morning two tired and hungover teams loaded the bus to head to the East Campus of Duke for a full training session to prepare for Saturday's games. The men's team worked out some of the kinks in their game and planned some strategies for the championships and then it was back on the bus and back to the hotel for a day of rest, a trip to Hog Heaven, and another night out on the town, this time in Durham at the tournament social outing. Although most of the teams had already called it an evening when McGill rolled into the bar, those that were on hand got to see what McGill rugby was all about.

On Saturday morning the teams arrived at the field 2 minutes before having to forfeit the men's game (between MBA time, our slightly-lost bus drivers and our late night we didn't have a chance of being on time). Apparently the boys had stretched enough on the bus. Not only did they finish the game without injuries, playing short one man they beat Chicago 10-8. Following the win over Chicago the squad picked up a few local players (we couldn't understand a thing they said) and beat Wharton 14-5. By the end of the day, there was a line-up of people who wanted to join the McGill team in their bid to beat the Irish (Smurfit). Unfortunately, no amount of extra players could help them with that. The good news is that we lost to Smurfit by 17 fewer points than Harvard. The loss put the men's team in the Mug Championship side of the tournament.

On the women's side McGill's squad started their day with a hard fought match against the girls from Smurfit, losing 4-3. Harvard followed with a 2-0 over McGill, but the women's side saved their best for the last, defeating Columbia Blue 5-0.

Saturday night consisted of more typical McGill MBA rugby fun at the tournament socials (with many of our players wondering why the other teams were going back to their hotels to go to bed). The evening finished with some rousing renditions of popular songs as members of both teams made attempts at karaoke.

Sunday brought another day as the men's team faced a strong challenge from Stanford (including the two Calgarians that had been out partying with McGill the night before), but McGill proved too strong, winning 14-7 and moving on to the Mug Championship match against Cornell. In the Mug match, Cornell was no match for the boys from McGill (and Wharton and London Business School and Stanford and Calgary… did we mention we were a popular team at the tournament?) as McGill rolled to a convincing 26-5 victory and the Mug!

The women's team faced Smurfit once again on Sunday in the 3 vs 6 Quarterfinal and in another tight game it was the eventual champions from Smurfit edging McGill 1-0.

Team captain Dave Anderson and club president Scott MacIntosh got to reap the spoils of victory as they drank from the "incredibly" Mug presented by tournament organizers.

McGill's rugby club would like to thank the organizers for putting on such a memorable event and a special thanks to Dave and Scotty for taking a bunch of rugby novices through a successful season both on and off the field. Cheers guys!

© McGill MBA RFC 2006