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Jack Viens '13 wins bronze medal in rugby at Bay State Games
Posted 07/25/2012 08:23AM

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Jack Viens '13 wins bronze medal in rugby at Bay State Games

Wilbraham & Monson Academy's Jack Viens '13 keeps adding to his list of rugby accomplishments.

Jack won a bronze medal with the Boston Irish Wolfhounds RFC at the 2012 Bay State Games July 21 at the Devens Recreation Center.

The Wolfhounds lost their first four games. However, with a medal at stake, Jack scored the go-ahead try to help the Boston-based club grab some hardware.

“It was quite surprising since we had lost all of our games, and we didn't lose them well either,” Jack said.

The Wolfhounds fell to Mystic, Conn, 17-0, Berkshire United 46-5 and Boston 19-7 in pool play. Since there were only four teams in the first-year event, however, the Wolfhounds advanced to the semifinals. They lost to Mystic 31-5, landing them in the bronze medal game, where they beat Boston 21-14.

“The first couple games we didn't have the hang of it,” Jack explained. “Even though we practiced, it's totally different in game play. We didn't have the hang of it at all. It was sloppy and pretty bad. But by the end of the second game we had gotten the hang of it a little bit, and the third game we got the hang of it a little more and gave them a little bit of a challenge.

“In the fourth game we played the top seed and it didn't go too well, but in the fifth game we finally pulled together and we were playing sevens.”

The 7v7 format was different than the traditional 15v15, and the different format called for a change in strategy.

“In sevens, it really doesn't matter whether you're a forward or back,” said Jack, who played mainly at prop. “You're all really just playing the back line. It's more of a probe and back out and keep passing it along the back line. It's not really a contact game. Every game our coach would tell us to avoid contact because if you get into contact you tire out faster, and in sevens it's a patient plus speed game. You want your energy and speed when you get a breakaway.

“I'm glad I did it. It was a fun experience. I'm going to do it again next year, hopefully. It went well for the first year. I think next year there will be more teams.”

Jack played for Massachusetts in the state tournament in June. He received the Coaches Award for WMA in the spring.

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