Skill Rugby Makes Big Contribution to Philadelphia United in Win Over Old Glory Selects
Philadelphia United Rugby is a men’s select side that draws players from the Philadelphia area and surrounding regions. Last year the newly formed team took on the Old Glory Selects and were able to earn a 32-20 victory in their inaugural match. A second match between the development sides, Philadelphia United Militia and Capital Selects also took place.
Overall, Schuylkill River was able to make a big impact on the Philadelphia United rosters with a total of 18 past and present Skill Rugby players being chosen. Those players were: Ty Anderson, Louis Baeza, Lucas Brickley, Bobby Collins, Cesar DaFonseca, Bruce Dolan, Danny Giannascoli, Jeff Hall, Randy Helsman, Dave Hockenberry, Matt Hughes, Dante Jacquet, Ben Janssen, Dave Kornock, Justin Lopez, Jack Ramirez, Ricky Schneider, and Adam Shapiro.
With only one tryout and two training sessions under their belts United would have been forgiven for getting off to slow start but they actually took the lead early in the match thanks to a penalty kick from Danny Giannascoli. However, from there things went Old Glory’s way for the remainder of the half as the visitors kicked a penalty of their own and then added four tries in the last 15 minutes of the half to take a 27-3 lead into halftime.
In the second half Philly United made the commitment to do whatever it would take to win the match and tries were scored by Tom Parry, Ben Janssen, and Bruce Dolan to bring the score to 27-22. Chris Wiggins also deserves a lot of credit for setting the physical tone in the middle of the field. Old Glory added a penalty with under 10 minutes remaining in the match to make it 30-22 and it looked like Philly United’s comeback would fall short until Danny Giannascoli scored a penalty with 8 minutes to go and added a converted try with 4 minutes left to give Philly United a 32-30 lead and ultimately win the match.
On the sidelines Philly United was supported by a staff that included Pat Boyle, Jack Bukowski, Dave Codell, and Jon Grasso and a crowd of a few hundred rugby fans that braved the cold to come support the team.