FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MALDEN, MA – Mystic River Rugby Club, hailing from Pine Banks Park in Malden, MA, claimed the 2016 USA Rugby Division 1 National Championship, the club’s first ever national title in its 42 year history. The team beat the Austin Blacks of Austin, TX by a score of 45-33 at Infinity Park in Glendale, CO on Saturday evening.
The team saw a number of standout performances in the see-saw match, but four tries from Evin O’Driscoll and an MVP performance from Alatasi Tupou were crucial in the Mystic River victory. The team had to fight especially hard in the second half after they trailed the Blacks 26-18 at half time. The players showed commitment and stamina to outlast their opponents in the high-altitude match, outscoring Austin 27-7 in the second half.
The club is thrilled to be the Division 1 National Champion, and wishes to thank the players and coaches for their commitment to the team over the past few years, as the effort has involved multiple years of concerted work from players and the club’s management and coaching staff. Some players even turned down professional contracts in the recently established PRO rugby competition to pursue the National Title. According to Mystic Rugby President, Brett Willis, “This National Championship is a testament to the efforts of the current Mystic River squad, but is also a huge tribute to the tireless efforts of so many contributors to the club over the past few years. We have made some important structural changes to the club to improve player development, and it’s been crucial that so many players and fans have stuck with us through those changes.”
The Mystics also want to thank the team’s fans, known as “Mystic Nation”, for their support. A large number of supporters attended the match in Colorado, and many more tuned in to watch live coverage of the match. Particular thanks are due to Mayor Gary Christenson of Malden, who has been vocal in his support of the club. We are also hugely thankful for the efforts of our president, Brett Willis, who managed the logistics for the weekend in Glendale.
We would like to thank our sponsors Coors Light, Concord Wealth Management, The Briar Group (specifically Dessie Kerins!), Jameson Irish Whiskey, Cambridge Health Alliance, Gentle Giant Moving Company and Integrated Builders. Also many thanks to the 60+ individual donors who helped fund our trip to Glendale, especially Dave Rudzinsky, Jim Calmas, Craig Weeks, Phil Crawford and Jay Dacey.
About Mystic River Rugby Club
Mystic River Rugby Club is an amateur Men’s Division 1 rugby club based out of Pine Banks Park in Malden, MA. The club was founded in 1974 and has a long tradition of rugby excellence and local involvement, with large numbers of players coming from local communities. The last decade has seen the club expand to include dedicated youth rugby programs catering to children and young adults between the ages of six and twenty two. The club is proud to have been a member of the local Malden and Melrose communities for 30 years, and truly values the support of both communities in its long-term success.