Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh Rugby Rivalry Continues
On Saturday October 11 we travelled to Pittsburgh for a D1 league match, followed by a D2 friendly, against the Pittsburgh Harlequins. Pitt came into this match highly motivated after narrowly missing out on an opportunity to reclaim the Pelly Cup earlier in the season and to their credit they played a tremendous first 50 minutes to claim a 35-3 lead.
As usual Schuylkill kept our composure and began to chip away at the lead. On a muddy track Chino Deal was able to find some footing to cut back against the grain and score our opening try and Lucas Brickley added one of his own soon thereafter. With 15 minutes to go Randy Helsman broke to the sidelines and was able to toss the ball back in field to Mike Centanni who scored the try in what was his first ever D1 match. Unfortunately this was as close at it got for River as the Quins added another penalty and try to earn a 43-22 victory.
Tyler Kelley was named man of the match for his 80 minute performance and other strong performers included Ricky Schneider, Jeff Hall, Centanni, and Brian Keown.
Tries: Deal (1), Centanni (1), Brickley (1),
Cons: Keown (2)
Pens: Keown (1)
The D2 match was a high scoring offensive shootout that we ended up winning by the final score of 63-29. It was a back and forth battle for the first 40 minutes which resulted in a 29-17 halftime lead for us but we stuck to our structure and were able to pile on in the second half before taking our foot off the gas in the last 10 minutes and giving up two tries.
The elusive Michael Bacon was named man of the match after scoring a hat trick and other players who stood out included Beau Lail, John Hines Jr, Ryan Tower, Dave Hilley, and Dave Gross.
Bacon (3), Lail (2), Tower (1), Hilley (1), Hines (1), Gross (1)
Cons: Tower (4), Hines (3)
After the match Coach Owen Jones offered these thoughts, “we would have preferred to finish our season on a high note with a victory, but away games at Pittsburgh are notoriously difficult. You are challenged to remain disciplined and efficient and we were undisciplined with our attacking platforms throughout the day. With this being the final game of the fall I think it more appropriate to reflect on the entire fall season. All in All I think we are right where we should be regarding the table standings. Coulda, woulda, shoulda with the Norfolk and Potomac Exiles matches, but we have another crack at each of them come Spring. The fall was a lot of hard work incorporating new players into the mix, learning a new structure, and managing players injuries. However, player after player has stepped up when called upon. I’d like to thank all players for their efforts this fall, enjoy the rest as they have earned it, and look forward to our spring campaign.”
I have a couple of thoughts I’d like to add from a personal standpoint. First, shoutout to our St. Joe’s contingent known as the “Baker Bandits.” The Deal, Kelley, Zebrowski, and Centanni crew have stepped up their game recently and the results have been good.
Secondly, I know we talked a lot about our Club structure in the last match report but I think this week’s matches also serve to show how our structure benefits the Club as a whole. Mike Centanni started playing rugby this season and his first ever match was September 30 but instead of playing bits and pieces here and there in B-Side games Tanni was able to cut his teeth playing 80 minute league matches, and because both of our sides travel together he was then able to watch the D1 team play. By giving everyone meaningful minutes, and giving them an opportunity to learn by watching the D1 matches, they’re ready to play when their number is called and we saw that on Saturday when Tanni scored a try and made several big hits in his first taste of D1 action.
I’m probably preaching to the choir here but if you want an opportunity to get meaningful playing time while learning the game, and improve your skills so that you can play at a high level Schuylkill River is probably the only Philadelphia rugby club that provides you with that opportunity.
Season Scoring Tally
Tries: Michael Bacon (4), John Hines (3), Beau Lail (3), James Brunson (2), Tito Callahan (2), Dave Gross (2), Dave Hilley (2), John Sneh (2), Pat Bellot (1), Mike Centanni (1), James Glatts (1), Josh Marchisio (1), Brian Taylor (1), Ryan Tower (1), Yuriy Trimba (1), Matt Tyris (1)
Cons: Ryan Tower (6), John Hines (3), Greg Mininger (2),Tito Callahan (2)
Pens: Ryan Tower (1)
Tries: Ben Janssen (5), Rick Schneider (5), Cody Bukowski (3), Rich Casey (3), Chino Deal (3), Ryan McHugh (3),Pat Boyle (2), Roman Lowery (2), Lucas Brickley (1), Mike Centanni (2), Matt Giannascoli (1), Jeff Hall (1), Tyler Kelly (1), Brian Keown (1), Joe Midwig (1), Jim Rosato (1), Matt Tyris (1)
Cons: Brian Keown (15) Matt Chiaramonte (4) Cody Bukowski (2)
Pens: Brian Keown (4)