DUBLIN, Ireland — The Navy men’s rugby team (1-0) kicked off its season with a resounding 78-0 win over Notre Dame (0-1) on Friday in Dublin, Ireland. In their quest to defend the national championship, the Navy Mids demonstrated remarkable offense by scoring 12 tries, their second-highest in a single game. The 78-point victory also marked the team’s highest point tally since their 88-0 win against The Citadel last September.

“We are happy with where we are for our first game of the season,” said Gavin Hickie, Navy’s director of rugby. “There are a lot of areas for us to clean up and improve, which we will, but for now, we are happy with our performance in Ireland.”

Within just one minute into the game, team captain Ben Haugh initiated Navy’s scoring. Following a short kick from Notre Dame, Haugh picked up the ball out of a ruck and secured the first try. Roanin Krieger successfully executed his first conversion kick of the season, giving Navy a 7-0 lead.

Subsequent penalties against Notre Dame gave the Mids favorable positions, which they capitalized on. In the sixth minute, William Webb pushed into the try zone for the team’s second score, extending the lead to 14-0 after another successful conversion from Krieger.

Throughout the match, Notre Dame struggled to penetrate Navy’s defensive wall. Even when they managed to gain some ground, penalties or turnovers put an end to their offensive attempts. By contrast, Navy demonstrated tactical prowess, seizing every opportunity to extend their lead.

Krieger led the team in scoring with 23 points, breaking his own record with nine successful conversion kicks. Webb added 15 points on three tries, marking the seventh hat trick in Navy’s varsity history. Multiple players, including Nick Janowsky and Max Smith, scored twice, contributing 10 points each.

As for individual plays, Haugh, Vaughn Schmitz, and Austin Taylor each added one try to Navy’s victory, manifesting the team’s well-rounded offensive capabilities.

Despite the landslide victory, Hickie emphasized that the team still has areas to improve. “There are a lot of areas for us to clean up and improve, which we will,” he reiterated.

Following their win, the Navy men’s rugby team will stay in Ireland to watch the Navy-Notre Dame football game scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. Dublin time). Their next rugby match will be a home opener against Delaware at the Prusmack Rugby Center, scheduled for noon next Saturday.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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