Last Saturday, the Vatos ended their 2011-12 season with the mercurial magic of sheer speed saving the day. Their overstated 45-23 win over the experienced Santa Fe RFC Santos (founded in 1968 and manned largely by New Mexico Tech graduates and LANL engineers) in Perkins Stadium framed another Rio Grande Divisional Championship (14th in 20 seasons) and 6-1-1 league and 13-3-1 overall records.
“With a penalty count of 25 -5 against us with 12 silly slipups in a row at one point, it is hard to play pretty rugby and win. Is it mindless, lazy, or aggressive behavior of passionate young fellows in search of contact? Whatever it was, it was counterproductive, and the game was won by 21 points on the wheels of our fast men who somehow found space in a forest of fallen bodies,” Coach Dick Greene noted.
Scoring three breakaway tries, sophomore Tanner Torrez from Utah, and relentless rucking by freshman Luis Huerta from Colorado, earned them the last “Men of the Match” awards of the season.
After 20 years of founding NMHU Vatos Rugby, Coach Greene thanks all the hundreds of Vatos alumni. “It has been an honor, and often a joy, to share this game and its samba with all of them. It is time for me to move on to other interests and duties. I can play my own rugby at the national level. I wish the good NMHU Vatos health, solid citizenship, lifelong fitness, and good rugby,” Greene added.