Growing up at ND Rugby - Fall 2014

December 04, 2014Sean O'Leary




In a season marred by unforeseen circumstances Notre Dame played the cards they were dealt and successfully returned to national contention. The Irish’s schedule, originally an exciting eight game season, was eventually cut in half by South Bend weather, opponent’s probation, and miscellaneous cancellations throughout the fall.

Despite the crumbling season, the Irish team stayed steadfast and willingly confronted every opponent that circumstance would allow them to play. The Irish finished their season 3-1 with victories over #19 Ohio State, the Chicago Griffins, and the Missouri Tigers. The lone loss of the season came in a ten-point decision against #12 Indiana University. Notre Dame rose as high as #22 during its fall campaign marking the first time in two years that the Irish were ranked in the Top 25. This fall turnaround serves as a point of pride for a young Irish team that greatly relied on its underclassmen. Ten underclassmen, including seven sophomores, started for the resurging program that only one year previously had finished winless in its fall season.


Coach’s Address

Well it was nice to see us on the winning side of the ledger after a bit of a lean spell! We have improved dramatically since last year. Strong leadership and athletic new additions have a way of allowing that to happen!

After a short mini camp before classes started and a lively inter-squad scrimmage the night before the Rice Football game, I could tell that the players were ready and looking forward to the Fall season.

The addition of a strong freshmen class and new players from within ND added to an ever-improving sophomore and junior classes to create an atmosphere of expectation rather than hope. I would like to thank Richard Kessler (President), Luc Joseph (Club Captain) and Alex Wray (Vice Captain) in their planning to create a High Performance expectation within the Program. This new HP component (led by ND Varsity Coach Geoff Puls) has proven to be a huge success as evidenced by improved S&C test scores and performances on the field. Our senior class as usual knuckled down and got the job done as they quickly realized how fast this all passes. We will need them to continue to lead and excel as a tough spring season awaits.

Our shortened Fall season finished 3-1 and our players worked hard during this development part of the 2014/15 year. Starting January, our competitive season starts! We compete in both the Varsity Cup and the CRC 7s!

We have a massive opportunity at this time at ND Rugby. We are blessed to have the volunteer coaching staff we have. These are the most athletic and gifted athletes that we’ve ever had. Now’s the time to start making a difference!

Thank you for all your commitment and support!




Best Performance

Notre Dame’s best performance came early in the season against then #19 and eventual Big Ten runner-up Ohio State RFC. Behind 20-0 after 25 minutes, the Irish regrouped under the posts and mounted a comeback on the shoulders of their forwards. The 43-32 Irish victory catapulted Notre Dame back into the Top 25 for the first time in two years. This match also produced the highlight of the season when the Irish turned a lineout near midfield into a 40 meter, rolling maul try.


Top Performers

Forward: Jack Mitchell – Fr.

Back: Tyler Wahl – Sr.



Alex Wray

Dominic Alberigi

Justin Pizzimenti

Robert Giambone

Andy Priesing

Frank McNiff

Luc Joseph

Rory Dunne

Ben Burrows

Garrity McOsker

Matt Diehl

Ryan Chestnut

Blaise Inman

Gerry Kelliher

Mike Parowski

Ryan Wilson

Callum Corr

Greg Gentile

Ming Ma

Sean O'leary

Carter Bench

Jack Mitchell

Pat McMahon

Spencer Scanell

Casey Nash

Jack Oros

Pat Mungovan

Tyler Wahl

Cutter Jones

Jackson Cummings

Pat Wirth

Will Hornish

Dan Conmy

Joe Grathwohl

Pierre Guobadia

Zac Plantz

David Abadin

John Gadient

Richard Kessler

Robert Giambone


Moving Forward

Heading into the offseason, the Irish have their sights set on two ambitious spring goals: A Varsity Cup semifinal appearance and a Collegiate Rugby Championship title. Notre Dame is also excited to host the March 28th stop on the ACRC 7’s Circuit in which the Irish are competing.