Dartmouth Heads to Bermuda 2024

players line up on the sand

Dartmouth Rugby on the Beach in Bermuda

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

After an offseason of hard work, 31 members of the DRFC were selected to head down to Bermuda for an exciting week of training, competition, and team bonding.  The team took off from Boston Logan at noon on 3/19 and arrived in Bermuda later that same afternoon.  Once they arrived, they headed over to what would be their home for the next week: Warwick Camp, home of The Royal Bermuda Regiment.  The location was perfect, with both the beach and practice fields located less than a 10 minute walk away. The boys all stayed together in the barracks, providing a tight-knit living space, perfect for fostering deep connections between ruggers over the course of the trip.  All meals (which were delicious!) would be eaten together at the regimental mess hall just a stone’s throw away from the barracks.

Warwick Camp
Camp Warwick

Military Transport Around The Island

The first three days would be dedicated to training.  The boys hit their first training session that first afternoon after getting off the flight.  The next day, the first full day in Bermuda, was fully dedicated to getting better at rugby. Right after breakfast the boys were led in an active recovery session by strength coach, Serafeim Eleftheriou.  Then the boys got after it, hitting two training sessions, one later that morning and one after lunch in the afternoon.  The third day of training looked very similar to the second, save for a captain's run instead of a practice during the afternoon session.  The goal for the training days was to lock in our skills for 7s, as the subsequent two days would be spent playing in the Bermuda International 7s tournament.  During these training days the boys also had ample time to relax on the beach.

Beachfront Jersey Presentation

The team woke up on 3/15 fired up and ready to go for the start of the 7s tournament.  The team hit an active recovery session again in the morning and then walked down to the beach (Jobson’s Cove) for jersey presentations.  It was a picturesque day and the beach provided a serene atmosphere for the presentation ceremony.  Captain Danny Locascio presented jerseys to Dartmouth’s Green team and Devin Kruse presented the jerseys to the White team (Devin captained the White team for the tournament).  After the jersey presentations the team took a bus over to the Bermuda National Sports Centre, where the tournament was taking place.  The first day of the tournament went well, with both teams successfully qualifying for the championship bracket the next day.  The Green team went 2-0-1, with wins over the Bermuda All-Stars and UHSP (The University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis), and a tie against the Saratoga Jockeys Rugby Club.  The White team went 1-2, but notably had a big win in their final game of the day against Iona College.  Iona was 2-0 up until that point and the boys in White knew that they needed to win the game to qualify for the championship the next day.  In an exciting display of what the DRFC is all about, the boys were able to muster together an exceptional performance to handily beat Iona, 24-14.

The next day, in the quarterfinals of the championship bracket the Green team would get off to a strong start, beating UHSP to advance to the semifinals.  Unfortunately, the White team would lose in a tightly contested battle with the Saratoga Jockeys, bringing their championship hopes to an end.  The White team would still have a successful remainder of their tournament though, as they would beat UHSP and the Bermuda All-Stars in the consolation bracket to secure 5th place in the tournament overall.  In the Green team’s semifinal matchup, they would decisively beat Iona College to advance to the final, against the Saratoga Jockeys.  This would be an exciting game that came down to the wire.  Dartmouth was down 17-14 heading into the final play of the match.  During that play captain Danny Locascio appeared to score the game winning try, but the referee made the call that the ball was held up, preventing the try and giving Saratoga the win.  It was a frustrating way for the tournament to end for the Green team, but it took nothing away from the boys’ great performance up to that point and will certainly serve as motivation for the men in Green to dig deeper as they head into their next phase of the season.

The bermuda national sports centre
Bermuda National Sports Centre

Team shot after the event
The Green and White Teams

The next day of the trip was a real highlight for the team!  DRFC alum David Gibbons, class of 1984, who lives in Bermuda, took the team out on a catamaran boat.  The boys were able to take in Bermuda’s breathtaking beauty and engage in an array of exciting water activities including swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and even cliff jumping!  Overall, it was a great way for the team to get in some fun and relaxation after a mentally and physically taxing stretch of rugby the two days prior.

Recovery on the beach
Beach Recovery Session

Gibbons boat in harbor
The Catamaran

boys on the boat
Thank You To The Gibbons Family

The team had a safe trip back to the US on 3/19, getting back up to campus late that evening, excited for the rest of the spring season up ahead.  All in all, the 2024 DRFC Spring Trip was quite the success!  I think I speak on behalf of everyone on the team in saying that the boys had a great time, got better at rugby, got closer than ever before, and made memories they’ll never forget!  Thank you to everyone who helped make this trip possible and who cheered us on while we were there, your love and support for the DRFC is deeply felt and appreciated.

Jacob Fishler , Dartmouth Class of 2024