Following a decisive 50-24 victory over Bates this past Saturday, Colby Men’s Rugby advanced to a 3-2 record and clinched the 2nd seed. The team can look forward to finishing the season on a strong note.
The boys were determined to perform for visiting alums and parents as the Bobcats made the drive from Lewiston looking for revenge following a 37-3 defeat on Sept. 23rd. First-year head coach Tony Solis was certainly looking to make a statement against his former team, having left the coaching staff this past summer. To his credit, Bates did manage to score four tries this time around (the rugby equivalent of touchdowns), after failing to do so entirely in the first game.
Injuries have tested Colby’s depth, ranging from dislocated shoulders, broken ribs, torn MCLs, and the usual concussions. Many newcomers to the team have had to step up and established players have been forced to adapt to new positions.
Yinka Lamikrana `26, hailing from Dallas, TX has adjusted to central Maine well. He has made an immediate impact on the team as one of the few players with high-school rugby experience. Instantly recognizable with his oversized shorts, the first-year has played every game so far. He carries the ball well by penetrating opposing defenses with athletic cuts, while also making key tackles on the defensive side of things.
Nick “Baywatch” Sikinger `26 has answered the call in a year where only four other backs (a rugby-specific position group) have returned. Proving he isn’t just a pretty face with a deep tan, Sickinger has provided key scores for the Mules while proving to be reliable on both sides of the ball.
While young talent has invigorated the Mules, the side has relied heavily upon veteran leadership. Last year, the Mules finished 2–0–1 in the regular season, traveled to Middlebury for a first-round playoff win, but ultimately fell to the Holy Cross in the second round for their first loss of the season.
Holy Cross has proven to be the primary obstacle in the Mules’ postseason campaigns, as super-seniors Ollie Lawrence `23J and Ethan Beatty `23J would tell you. Lawrence delivered the game-winning try against Middlebury last year, and Beatty has played in every Colby Rugby match since joining the squad in 2018, so the two bring vast banks of wisdom to the table.
Looking forward to the nearer future, Colby will travel down to Brunswick to face an emerging Bowdoin side. The Mules will be hungry for seconds, following a 47-12 victory earlier in the season; however, the Polar Bears have started to show promise under new head coach Gareth Roberts.
While they have struggled to achieve results and have not yet won a game this season, Gareth Roberts will certainly hold his side to a higher standard as he looks to revitalize the program. He currently competes for Portland Rugby Club and carries years of rugby coaching experience.
Regardless, the Mules are confident that they can achieve a similar result a second time around heading into the matchup, before heading into the playoffs. The future looks challenging but bright for the Mules as they have weathered the storm spectacularly so far.
~ Rohan Sinha `24
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