UMaine men’s rugby team wins first-ever national championship

The University of Maine men’s rugby club team won the 2024 National Collegiate Rugby DII Championship held at Maryland Sportsplex on Saturday, April 27. Over a span of two days, the Black Bears defeated four other teams in a bracket that included a total of 16 teams.

It was the third consecutive year the UMaine club qualified for the national tournament, but their first time winning it. The team celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2023 and held a 19-4 record during the 2024 spring season. 

National Collegiate Rugby is the highest level of play in the U.S. The Black Bears won the championship against the Georgetown University Hoyas, a local team from Washington, D.C., with a final score of 19-14. Late into the second half, UMaine was down two scores, but rallied a comeback by taking the lead at the final buzzer.  Brett Benham, who scored the game-winning try with no time left on the clock, was named team MVP, and Shea Wagner was named an All-Tournament player and game MVP.