The breakdown of Saturday’s action in the Mid-Atlantic included eight games decided by ten or fewer points, four shutouts and 15 matches where the margin of victory was greater than 21 points.
After Pittsburgh beat Potomac, 36-29, in men’s Division I, one of the closest matches of the day took a place between two clubs trying to get traction in the division. After falling behind 17-0 before halftime, NOVA scored four straight tries to lead 26-24. After scoring in the 79th minute to cut the lead to two points, Baltimore-Chesapeake received the restart and moved the ball downfield in the NOVA 22. With no time left, NOVA was penalized and BC chose to scrum down. Unfortunately, the referee called BC for driving early and NOVA kicked the ball into touch for the win.
“In the first 20 minutes, we had the ball and were inside the 22, but we just couldn’t put it in,” NOVA coach Joe Tropea said. “In the second half, it was all about execution and belief. They were big boys and were pushing us around. We had to believe in our skill and the plan and it all started coming together.”
In another close battle, the women’s Division III game between Philadelphia and the York & Lancaster Thorns looked to be a repeat of their match from three weeks ago. Each club scored five tries in the contest and it came down to who could make its conversions. In the end, Philly’s Marisa Duplisea was four for five for the 33-31 win.
“The key to the win was persistence, not getting worn down,” Philly coach Bill Jalbert stated. “We put ourselves on the back foot in the first half down 21-5. We fixed it in the second half and came out looking like a different team. It truly was a game of two halves. It helped that we had a full bench and I was able to use all of my reserves and they did not.”
Another rematch saw Phoenixville White Horse avenge its 49-11 loss to Doylestown two weeks ago. In women’s Division III, Phoenixville outmuscled the Dragons to win 36-22 behind a 21-point day from Saleiha Mayer-Marks.
“We played Doylestown two weeks ago and they really beat us and beat us bad,” coach John Hammer said. “They out-physicaled us everywhere on the field. On Saturday, we tried to be the physically dominating force and we did that especially around the breakdown… I hope we use what we gained beating Doylestown and take it to Harrisburg next week.”
On the other side of the spectrum, the Northeast Philadelphia Irish in men’s Division III has been dominating the competition all season. After shutting out the Jersey Shore Sharks, 33-0, the NE Irish defense has only allowed 12 points in five games with three shutouts.
“The key to our defense is just discipline, knowing your responsibilities and trusting your teammates to do their job,” coach Tim Morris said. “Our guys this season are just doing the fundamentals correctly and playing disciplined. This group of guys loves to hit and tackle so they enjoy playing defense.”
Continuing on the theme of big wins, NOVA took to the road for its first adventure in the new women’s DI East. In Albany, N.Y., NOVA blistered the Sirens for eight tries ending in a 48-5 victory, which included a hat trick from Christina Metztmaier.
“Albany is a tough place to play, long drive and a skilled opponent with good size across the board,” NOVA coach Brian Walker said. “Our key to victory was balance. We had to be balanced in attack, in defense, and in our positional play. We did that and everyone who traveled with us played and contributed in some way in a 48-5 win.”
|Pittsburgh Harlequins||36||Potomac Exiles||29||Men – DI|
|Baltimore-Chesapeake Brumbies||24||Northern Virginia Rugby||26||Men – DI|
|South Jersey Devils||22||North Penn Rugby||0||Men – DII-North|
|Philadelphia-Whitemarsh Rugby||40||Lancaster Roses||12||Men – DII-North|
|Wilmington Rugby||23||Phoenixville White Horse||29||Men – DII-North|
|Washington Rugby||17||Virginia Rugby||57||Men – DII-South|
|Richmond Lions||11||Raleigh Vipers||37||Men – DII-South|
|Washington Renegades||28||Virginia Griffins||0||Men – DIII-Central|
|North Bay Rugby||17||Western Suburbs Rugby||15||Men – DIII-Central|
|Baltimore-Chesapeake D3||14||Northern Virginia Rugby D3||50||Men – DIII-Central|
|Reading Rugby||55||Hibernians Rugby||12||Men – DIII-North|
|Wilkes-Barre Scranton Breakers||15||Media Rugby||17||Men – DIII-North|
|Harrisburg Rugby||34||Happy Valley Barbarians||12||Men – DIII-North|
|Blackthorn Rugby||8||Brandywine Rugby||25||Men – DIII-North|
|Northeast Philadelphia Irish||33||Jersey Shore Sharks||0||Men – DIII-North|
|Philadelphia Gryphons||32||Delmarva Rugby||10||Men – DIII-North|
|Rappahannock Rugby||22||Virginia Beach Falcons||31||Men – DIII-South|
|Blacksburg Rugby||32||Blackwater Rugby||10||Men – DIII-South|
|Roanoke Rugby||44||Rocktown Rugby||19||Men – DIII-South|
|North Bay Rugby D4||34||Western Suburbs Rugby D4||26||Men – DIV|
|Baltimore Flamingos||0||Washington Renegades D4||79||Men – DIV|
|Phoenixville White Horse||34||Prince William County Rugby||14||Men – DIV|
|Patuxent River Rugby||77||Washington Scandals||5||Men – DIV|
|Albany Sirens||5||Northern Virginia Rugby||48||Women – DI-East|
|Raleigh Venom||27||Boston Rugby||33||Women – DI-East|
|Phoenixville White Horse||36||Doylestown Dragons||22||Women – DII-North|
|York & Lancaster Thorns||31||Philadelphia Rugby D3||33||Women – DIII-North|
|Rappahannock Rugby||43||Northern Virginia Rugby D3||19||Women – DIII-South|