Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rugby Gets Back on Track

After a tough loss to #18 ranked St Joes, VRFC looked to come back strong on Saturday against the East Stroudsburg Warriors. After last week's battle, the 'Cats starting 15 was missing a few key members due to injury, however; the team was prepared to show its depth as other ruggers stepped up to the challenge. Unfortunately, the 'Cats defense came out flat and allowed ESU to score two quick and easy tries to take the early 10-0 lead. Instead of hanging their head's, 'Nova was able to pick themselves back up and come right back at the Warriors. Within a few minutes Villanova was deep within ESU's end and were awarded a penalty. Fly Half Paulie Iezzi made the kick to get the 'Cats on the board, 10-3. This seemed to get 'Nova's ruggers motivated as just a few minutes later Scrum Half Bryan McCusty knocked the ball lose from his ESU counterpart, and Flanker Pat Murray picked up the lose ball and took it 20 meters for his first ever try. Before the end of the half, McCusty would add a try of his own and Paulie Iezzi made the conversion to give the 'Cats a 15-10 lead at the half.

Villanova kept their momentum going into the second half as Iezzi scored an early try to increase the lead 20-10. Unfortunately the 'Cats took a step back and allowed the Warriors to answer right back with a try of their own to make it 20-15. The team was able to again pick themselves up, and with the help of rookie center Chris Sheehan effectively put the Warriors away. Sheehan broke through the Stroudsburg back line and scored his first try to make it 25-15. Just a few plays later Sheehan kicked the ball past the Warriors' winger and touched it down in the try zone to score his second try in just his first start and extend the lead to 15. The 'Cats defense again had a lapse and allowed ESU to score once again. However, Paulie Iezzi converted his second penalty of the night just a few minutes later to make it 33-20 in favor of Villanova. At this point the game started to get chippy, with both sides talking a bit too much. Villanova was able to keep the cooler head, and Fullback Bobby Ciapciak was able to score yet another try for the 'Cats. Shortly after Ciapciak's try a skirmish broke out, and the ref decided that she had lost control of the game and that the two teams had played enough rugby for one night, and called the game for the 'Cats 38-20.

Although the 'Cats were hoping for a better showing, a win is a win, and this win keeps Villanova in 2nd place in the division. A Few Notes:

-Villanova has yet to play a home game
-Villanova's next game has been moved to Temple's field, this Saturday
-The 'Cats only true home game will be Saturday Oct. 24 when they close out the regular season against The College of New Jersey
- Temple has yet to allow a point in two games this season

Get out and support VRFC with a fan presence at Temple this weekend, they will need all the support they can get as they play one of the most important matches of the year.

And don't forget to become a fan of VRFC on facebook for updates on game times and locations.

Villanova Rugby Football Club

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