And just like that- the Providence men's rugby team is the D3 NERFU champs and walking off the field with an impressive undefeated 9-0 season.

On Saturday, November 12th, 15 ruggers marched onto the field at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, ready to take on Charles River- a rival team who always puts up a good fight. Led by Captain Alex Meimarides and Vice-Captain Keith Raum, Providence was able to pull off a 24-19 victory to secure the NERFU Championship.

"I just knew it was our year," Meimarides tells Fun 107, "Between the group of guys we had and knowing we had everything needed to get it done, it was just putting it all together and we came out strong to score early. The first two tries were ours. We held on from there and were able to capitalize on opportunities when they were given to us. It was a close battle, but we have a strong forward pack and an explosive back that helped hold out for the entirety of 80 min."

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Over the last 4-5 years, Providence has gone back and forth with Charles River during finals with either a 3-point deficit or victory every time.

Luckily, there were no serious injuries during the match besides a bloody nose from taking an elbow to the face. The team will now progress to Virginia where they will eventually be matched up against the winner of the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union next Spring.

Meimarides has been playing most of his life, since 2008, and recalls some of the best moments this season had presented.

"One of them was our game in Albany when our numbers were short-handed," Meimarides said, "We were down early, but able to make a comeback within the final minutes with some long back-to-back 50-meter runs down the field. The other was the first time in the season against Charles River. It was only a 3-point game and it came down to Keith Raum’s leg with a conversion kick that gave us the victory."

The men of Providence Rugby are "comprised of local, regional, national, and international members, who strive to embody the club spirit in all they do". It's a brotherhood, a comradeship, and now with the championship secured- a force to be reckoned with.

"We allowed the least amount of points the entire season," Meimarides said, "We have a gritty team, even when we were down we never gave up and the hard-fought defense is what got us to where we are right now.

Even though the men fought hard and brought home the championship win, there's always room for improvement. The next match is still six months away, so now would be the time to dig deep and keep grinding.

"Our fitness was just ok this season, we could be in better shape, myself included," Meimarides said with the utmost honesty, "It's time we utilize and take advantage of our sponsored gym- Fitness Rising, Ocean State CrossFit, and simply get out whenever the weather is nice and get into better shape. That’s key."

It's been a long road this Fall season, but the men never gave up, conquering one game at a time and marched down the field relentlessly.

"Shoutout to everyone who came out to support us and who helped us to get to this point," Meimarides concluded, "Huge thank you to our coach Chris Palombo who was invaluable in getting us to where we are today, especially coming out of the pandemic. We had no coach, we were starting to lose traction with the team and he turned us around. Lastly, to our sponsors: Whatcheer, Union Station, Fitness Rising, and Narragansett Beer for providing a place to work out, a place to gather socially, and an ice-cold victory brew after the game."

With Spring only around the corner, Meimarides leaves just one final and stern message for the team- "We still got work to do."

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