Skill Rugby Finishes Great Spring Season!
After traveling to play the Pittsburgh Quins last weekend we hosted the other Pittsburgh team, the Pittsburgh Forge, this weekend. The Forge are the result of a 2018 merger between Pittsburgh Rugby Club and the Pittsburgh Highlanders and they play in the Midwest.
Things got off to a great start for us in the D1 match thanks to a try from Sean Barnes in the 4th minute. Chase Haberstroh added another early try and 17 minutes into the match we were up 14-3. The teams played it even for the next 20 minutes until we ended the first half with 10 quick points thanks to a 37th minute try from Ben Janssen that was converted by Danny Giannascoli who added a penalty on the stroke of halftime to make it 24-3.
The boys came out firing in the second half with another try from Chase 3 minutes into the period and a try from John McCurdy 15 minutes in. Between those tries was a conversion and two penalties from Danny to make it 42-3. Ben Janssen’s relentless motor led to two additional tries and we were able to take it 54-3.
After the match Coach Jamie acknowledged the obviously strong performance but focused on areas where the team could improve such as the lineout and our pod width. In the fall season we’ll also need to keep the tackles down and make smart decisions about when to poach the ball. Coach Jamie was proud of how the team competed throughout the second half and didn’t let up even with a lead. We tackled like maniacs, picked up some points, and finished the second half, just like the first, with a defensive stand turnover and length of the field score.
In terms of Man of the Match it is hard to overlook Ben Janssen and Chase Haberstroh combining for 5 tries but Coach Jamie is a defense guy and Louis Snyder stole his heart this weekend to earn the honors.
T: Ben Janssen (3), Chase Haberstroh (2), John McCurdy (1), Sean Barnes (1),
C: Danny G (5)
P: Danny G (3)
The D2 match also got off to a good start thanks to a 10th minute try from Kyle Kent. The Forge were able to answer back and take a 5-7 lead but another try from Kent followed by a conversion and a penalty from Ryan Tower gave us a 15-7 lead. Matt Rhodes and the Forge each scored shortly before halftime and we took a 20-12 lead into the break.
Tai Kauwe scored a try 2 minutes into the second half to create some breathing room before the Forge scored again to make it 27-19. A 52nd minute try from Jack Heffernan pushed the scoreline to 32-19 which is where it remained.
After the match Coach Jamie said it wasn’t always pretty but in the end it came down to a ton of heart to keep them out of the try zone. Coach indicated that a Club’s overall strength is measured by the second side and that we’ve got a good one here.
The Man of the Match was Tai Kauwe for a strong performance from the scrumhalf position.
T: Kyle Kent (2), Jack Heffernan (1), Matt Rhodes (1), Tai Kauwe (1)
C: Ryan Tower (2)
P: Ryan Tower (1)
Season Scoring Totals:
T: Ben Janssen (7), Chase Haberstroh (3), ), Sean Barnes (3), Alex Ruiz (2), Danny Giannascoli (2) Jack Ramirez (2), Niall Carlson (2), Aaron Gray (1), Chris Wiggins (1), Dan Berger (1), Jeff Hall (1), John Davis (1), John McCurdy (1),
C: Danny Giannascoli (12), Brian Keown (4), Alex Ruiz (3), Alex Walsh (1)
P: Danny Giannascoli (10)
T: Kyle Kent (4), Matt Rhodes (4), Bouba Bangoura (3), Jack Ramirez (3), James Lampe (2), Kobie Tuckson (2), Alex Ruiz (1), Anthony Sessa (1), Jack Heffernan (1), James Lesniak (1), Jon Ahern (1), Matt Zebrowski (1), Tai Kauwe (1)
C: Ryan Tower (10), Alex Ruiz (4), Jon Ahern (1), Kyle Kent (1),
P: Ryan Tower (1)