Announcement

Great weekend for Skill Rugby as both sides get big wins!

Posted by Schuylkill River RFC on Sep 17 2019 at 02:42PM PDT
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Saturday September 14, 2019 was a great day for Skill Rugby as our D1 side, the Exiles, opened up the Mid-Atlantic season with a thrilling 27-25 victory over defending champions Rocky Gorge while our D3 side, Troop, earned a convincing 48-7 win over the Hibernians.

The Exiles’ match was a back and forth affair that featured eight lead changes before things were all said and done. Rocky Gorge got on the board first with a penalty kick before Cesar DaFonseco, one of seven players making his Division 1 debut for Skill Rugby, answered with a try. Gorge responded with a try and a penalty kick to take an 11-7 lead before Cesar scored his second try of the match to make it 12-11. From there the teams traded tries with Gorge scoring first and Jack Ramirez responding before Brian Keown hit a penalty kick to make it 20-18 in favor of Schuylkill River.

The final five minutes of the match were tense as Rocky Gorge took possession of the ball and managed to score a try in the 77th minute to take a 25-20 lead. Off of the kickoff we were able to force them into a maul and turn the ball over. The ball went out wide to Ben Janssen who went on a 60 meter run to score in the corner at full time and make the score line 25-25 and earn a bonus point for us. This meant it all came down to the foot of Brian Keown to see if we would win or settle for the tie on a conversion from the sideline. Keown struck it true and gave us a 27-25 victory.

After the match Coach Jon Grasso said “it gives us great momentum to win our first match of the season against a team that has generally dominated the Mid-Atlantic for a number of years. Our team definitely has the potential to be special, but this was only the first of many steps, and there’s still a lot of hard work to be done this fall. While we performed well in certain areas there are still a number of things to work on. I’m proud of the way guys kept their composure throughout the game. After holding a small lead for much of the second half we gave up our first points of the second half at the 77 minute mark. Instead of laying down, we worked to turnover the ball quickly and moved the ball to space to allow Ben to go on a 60 meter run to touch down in the corner. Keown then came through with a clutch kick from the sideline. However, as much as we enjoyed the win it’s back to work this week as we get ready for a tough Pittsburgh team.”

Cesar DaFonseca was named man of the match and other players mentioned by the Coaching Staff for their strong play included Ben Janssen, Pat Boyle, Austin Lucas and Joe Midwig. Making their D1 debuts for Schuylkill River included: Louis Baeza (flanker), Ryan Blythe (8 man), Jack Ramirez (wing), Cesar DaFonseca (full back), and reserves Dave Hockenberry, Louis Snyder, and Alex Ruiz.

Scorers:
Tries: Cesar DaFonseca (2), Ben Janssen (1), Jack Ramirez (1)
Cons: Brian Keown (2)
Pens: Brian Keown (1)

Troop’s match was more one-sided as the team took a 15-0 halftime lead and was able to turn that into a 48-7 victory. We controlled possession for the majority of the game and our tackling and defensive line speed were much improved from last week which allowed us the shut out our opponents until the very end of the match. Our tight 5 in particular had a dominating performance and the combination of Jeff Hall’s lineout jumping and Matt Zebrowski’s throws allowed us to win every lineout in the match from both teams with one exception. Philadelphia rugby super fan Mike Codell was in attendance at the match and he was impressed with the performances of Vito Nucci and Bryan McCorkle in particular. Vito was described as a runaway freight train and McCorkle earned praise for his physical play which was reminiscent of a young Lake Paul.

Matt Stringer was named man of the match from the fly half position as he and Ryan Tower controlled the ball and ran a great game. Dave Gross and Evan McKeever were also noted by the Staff to have had strong performances. This match featured the League Match debuts for Vito Nucci and James Lesniak as members of our program. Welcome aboard guys!

Scorers:
Tries: Ryan McHugh (2), Vito Nucci (2), Jabari Johnson (1), Bryan McCorkle (1), Colin Sullivan (1)
Cons: Ryan Tower (5)
Pens: Ryan Tower (1)

Troop Season Stats:
Tries: Ryan McHugh (2), Vito Nucci (2), Jabari Johnson (2), Kevin Allison (1), Jeff Hall (1), Bryan McCorkle (1), Alex Ruiz (1), Colin Sullivan (1)
Cons: Ryan Tower (6)
Pens: Ryan Tower (1)

Exiles Season Stats:
Tries: Cesar DaFonseca (2), Ben Janssen (1), Jack Ramirez (1)
Cons: Brian Keown (2)
Pens: Brian Keown (1)

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