Providence, Rhode Island
September 5, 2009

The fall 2009 season kicked off with a 34-24 victory against the Providence Men’s Rugby Football club. Providence had made the final 16 of division II last year but had either retired or lost several key players. Brown assistant coach Matt Median captained the side against the Brown Bears at number 8 while Brown assistant coach Richard Ashfield filled in for Providence at the last minute at fullback.

The upper 70 degree weather seemed hotter than it was mainly due to the lack of breeze. It was clear that the heat would take its toll on both sides for this early season game as it was Brown’s first match situation after but five days of pre-season practice..

Brown got off to a great start and showed good control for the first 20 minutes. In fact, after only 2 minutes, freshman flyhalf, Zehid Jethani’13 recognized the PRFC right wing out of position and chipped the ball into space behind. PRFC was able to gather the ball however a poor pass resulted in center Brad Arlington ‘11 gathering a loose ball and scoring the season’s first try. Jethani converted the try to put Brown up 7-0. It was Arlington who looked certain to score next at the 12 minute mark when he was put away down the right sideline for a dramatic run from just inside the PRFC half. Unfortunately, as Arlington went to ground the ball, he knocked on in the try zone, awarding a 5 meter scrum to Providence.

Providence seized their good fortune as the worked their way down the field pressurizing Brown just outside their goal line. A series of rucks resulted in Medina plowing over the line for the first PRFC score. Flanker Rall Walsh ‘10 made a valiant effort to prevent the score however ended up injuring his leg in the effort. He was replaced by David Dean ‘11. The try was converted to even the core at 7-7. That would be the last first half score for Providence as Brown controlled possession for most of the rest of the half.

A good break by left wing Sam Rabb ‘10 looked as if another score would result however the top point scorer from last season couldn’t break the cover defense as PRFC avoided an almost certain score. At the 28 minute mark, Brown was once again knocking on Providence’s door. A well executed pattern by Brown found space wide out on the right side. Jethani put up a well placed kick for Ben Baker ‘10 who caught the ball in full stride for the score. Jethani converted to make the score 14-7.

Four minutes later Providence lost possession off a well poached ball from a ruck. The change of possession saw co-captain Andrew Alvarez ‘11 free down the left side of the pitch. Alvarez’ 35 meter run put Brown deep in the Providence end. A Providence penalty minutes later was taken by Jethani on a quick tap and fed to co-captain Hao Li ‘10 who stepped inside his defender for the score. Jethani was unable to convert this try. With the score 19-7 with six minutes remaining in the half, the Jethani to Li connection would quickly be reciprocated as Li broke through the PRFC defense for a 40 meter run. With only one defender remaining (coach Ashfield), Li drew his defender and put Jethani thru and over the line for the score. The try was not converted, however, the damage was done as the half ended 24-7.

With only a couple of halftime changes to the forwards, Brown came out strong again into the second half. Shortly into the half, the backline was swapped around to allow the coaches to look at some different alignments.

It would be Brown that would draw first blood of this half as at the 9 minute mark as Providence missed touch. Newly found wing (not really) Alvarez caught the ball and took it to the line. A well executed ruck saw Dan Levine ‘12 knife through the PRFC defense at pace. He would touch down 22 meters later and Rabb would put the kick over for the conversion. The 31-7 lead would be lessened as Providence was able to take advantage of a breakdown in the ruck defense. With 24 minutes into this half, PRFC would have their next score as they added a converted try to up the score to 31- 14. Three minutes later Providence was penalized. Brown took the easy points as Rabb converted the penalty for the score of 34-14. With 10 minutes remaining in the game, it was clear that the heat had taken its toll on Brown. Several instances of breakdown in defense at the ruck enabled PRFC to put over two more tries. Neither try was converted to end the game 34-24.

Two of the more notable moments in the game were when Brown coach Medina was flattened by co-captain Andrew (the “charging bull)) Alvarez. Although not physically hurt, Matt’s pride did suffer slightly. Matt can still be heard explaining how he wasn’t at fault.

The match was refereed by Antoine Galou.

First XV Squad

1. Bob Forrester ’10, replaced at half by Mohammad Abdalah’11
2. Jay Smith’10, replaced at half by Daniel Levine-Spound’12
3. Andrew Alvarez’11
4. Alex Hansen’10
5. John Hermansen’11, replaced at min. 45 by Mike Wharton’12
6. Gabe Heiderich’10
7. Rall Walsh’10
8. Chaney Harrison’11
9. Taylor Peak’12, replaced at min 45 by Dave Riley’10
10. Zahid Jethani’13, replaced at min 45 by Brad Arlington’11
11. Sam Rabb’10
12. Hao Li’10
13. Brad Arlington’11, replaced at minute 45 by Ben Baker’10
14. Ben Baker’10, replaced at min 45 by Cole Erickson’10
15. Rob Powell’11


Due to numbers, only a 30 minute period was played for the second game. Providence outscored Brown 10-0.

Second XV Squad

1. Mohammad Abdalah’11
2. Daniel Levine’12
3. Christopher Carney’10
4. John Hermensen’11
5. Bob Forrester’10
6. Dab Rabb’10
7. Jay Smith’10
8. Zach Bleckner
9. Taylor Peak’12, replaced by Dave Riley’10
10. Rob Powell’11
11. Tokiso Thato’12
12. Peter Amato’12
13. Ted Orf’12
14. Brian Fisher’11
15. Cole Erickson’10

Brown next plays Norwich University at Brown this Saturday, September 12, 2009. The First XV will kick-off at 1 P.M. with the Second XV immediately following.

JF7404-Brown v Providence-9-5-09