World MBA Rugby Championships
I always wanted to go to this tournament hosted by Duke University each year in North Carolina. Even before I began business school I’d heard about it, but since coming to Berkeley I haven’t been able to get a Haas team together because we’re a small business school and there just isn’t the interest in rugby (sadly!). Instead, I contacted the Stanford GSB team and arranged to go with them.
I took the red-eye and flew into Raleigh-Durham early on Friday morning. I had the intent to explore the Duke campus that day, but it turned out that I’d need to rent a car to get anywhere at all so I just bummed around the hotel. I met up with some of the Stanford guys as they rolled in, and we went for a few beers that evening. The next morning, we all (just 13 of us! – you need 15 for a rugby team…) had breakfast together and then drove over one hour to get to the playing fields in Danville, Virginia. Apparently Duke University doesn’t like the rugby team enough to let them host the tournament on their own fields!
I had no idea that the tournament was as big as it was! There were (I think) 16 men’s teams and 12 women’s touch teams. It’s definitely a small business school world as well and I kept bumping into people I knew, including Tanya Wilkins (who I know from Monash University in Melbourne) who is currently at HBS and who was playing in their touch team.
We had a moderately successful tournament, especially for such a ragamuffin group that had never played together. We defeated the Wharton A team, lost to a strong Harvard A team (both Harvard and Wharton brought two full squads along) and then defeated a good Kellogg team by a decent margin. Even with that good result, we were ranked 9th overall and thus narrowly missed the eight-team playoffs for the championship.