With the hurricane blowing up the coast, eight of the 27 Mid-Atlantic club games were postponed due to weather issues. In the remaining matches, history was made as the Eastern DI Women’s competition played its first match, three divisions on the men’s side competed, and the women’s DII and DIII rumbled into their second weekend of play.
The newly formed Eastern DI kicked off its first women’s test with the Albany Sirens hosting Philadelphia. After the teams were deadlocked at 5-5 after 50 minutes, Philadelphia scored four tries in the final 25 minutes to win 31-5.
“We played a tough game last season against Albany and we knew that they were looking for a different result this time around,” Philly captain Becca Fagan said. “We wanted to come out strong, play together as a team, and start out our season with a win.”
“The key to Philly’s success on Saturday was a solid defense, strong set pieces, and a dynamic game plan. Albany presented us with a number of challenges in the first half and, ultimately, we were able to adapt and change our gameplan, playing a strong and solid game from the first minute to the last.”
In women’s DII, Severn River dominated the D.C. Furies to record its second shutout in a row while the Chesapeake versus James River match was postponed. The DIII North began its season with Philadelphia and the South Devils each notching victories.
With the Norfolk at NOVA test postponed and Schuylkill River beating Baltimore-Chesapeake by two tries, Rocky Gorge took over first place in men’s DI by rocking Pittsburgh, 38-14. The Harlequins took the early 7-0 lead but Gorge fought back with five tries for its second victory of the season.
“They were big and fit, but we have a good amount of experience as this team has been playing together since 2012,” captain Josh Brown stated. “We knew they were big so we wanted to weather their storm in the first 25-30 minutes. They came out hard and heavy and swung it wide more than we were expecting. At the end of the day, we just played our style and cut out the penalties.”
For the first weekend of men’s DII, several teams made statements to start the fall. Doylestown and James put up 40 points on Old Gaelic and Washington, Philadelphia-Whitemarsh welcomed Phoenixville White Horse to DII with a 32-10 win, and Richmond and Lehigh Valley eked out close wins over Virginia and North Penn.
Lastly in the game to watch in DIII, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Breakers came back in the last ten minutes to beat Reading 36-27. Wilkes-Barre scored the first 19 points but Reading responded by ripping off 27 straight. Raphael Verdetto’s third try in the 70th minute finally gave the Breakers the lead and his fourth try at the buzzer put the final nail in the coffin.
It’s been a friendly/fierce 40-year rivalry between the clubs and this game was no different. “The key to the match was steady and unselfish ball movement by our backline which was allowed by solid set piece and loose play rucks with the forwards,” Breakers coach Jack Bukowski said. “After fixing our interior defensive issues, we were able to keep them out of the try area in the second half and come away with a gritty win.”
Summing up the rest of DIII, the Washington Renegades, Western Suburbs, the Hibernians, Media, Brandywine, Jersey Shore, and Blackthorn were victorious in most team’s first match of the season.
|Schuylkill River Exiles||36||Baltimore-Chesapeake Brumbies||22||Men – DI|
|Rocky Gorge Rugby||38||Pittsburgh Harlequins||14||Men – DI|
|Northern Virginia Rugby||Postponed||Norfolk Blues||Postponed||Men – DI|
|Wilmington Rugby||Postponed||South Jersey Devils||Postponed||Men – DII-North|
|Old Gaelic Rugby||28||Doylestown Dragons||40||Men – DII-North|
|North Penn Rugby||7||Lehigh Valley Hooligans||17||Men – DII-North|
|Philadelphia Whitemarsh Rugby||32||Phoenixville White Horse||10||Men – DII-North|
|Richmond Lions||22||Virginia Rugby||7||Men – DII-South|
|Washington Rugby||24||James River Rugby||46||Men – DII-South|
|Western Suburbs Rugby||28||Severn River Rugby||20||Men – DIII-Central|
|Washington Renegades||17||Northern Virginia Rugby D3||12||Men – DIII-Central|
|Baltimore-Chesapeake Brumbies D3||Postponed||West Potomac Beavers||Postponed||Men – DIII-Central|
|Frederick Rugby||Postponed||North Bay Rugby||Postponed||Men – DIII-Central|
|Hibernians Rugby||53||Happy Valley Barbarians||24||Men – DIII-North|
|Media Rugby||31||Harrisburg Rugby||0||Men – DIII-North|
|Reading Rugby||27||Wilkes-Barre Scranton Breakers||36||Men – DIII-North|
|Brandywine Rugby||28||Schuylkill River Exiles D3||27||Men – DIII-North|
|Delmarva Rugby||19||Jersey Shore Sharks||34||Men – DIII-North|
|Philadelphia Gryphons||20||Blackthorn Rugby||24||Men – DIII-North|
|Virginia Beach Falcons||Postponed||Rappahannock Rugby||Postponed||Men – DIII-South|
|Blacksburg Rugby||Postponed||Rocktown Rugby||Postponed||Men – DIII-South|
|Roanoke Rugby||Postponed||Blackwater Rugby||Postponed||Men – DIII-South|
|Albany Sirens||5||Philadelphia Rugby||31||Women – Eastern DI|
|Chesapeake Rugby||Postponed||James River Rugby||Postponed||Women – DII-South|
|D.C. Furies D2||0||Severn River Rugby||51||Women – DII-South|
|Lehigh Valley Rugby||12||Philadelphia Rugby D3||47||Women – DIII-North|
|South Jersey Devils||36||York & Lancaster Thorns||5||Women – DIII-North|