LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Three teams out of the Rugby East Conference competed in the Nov. 19-20 ACRC Bowl Series at Iona College and came away with some mixed results.
On the first day of competition, the hosting Gaels were bested by East Coast Rugby Conference Champions AIC, while Sunday’s slate of matchups included Delaware’s victory over Fordham and Buffalo’s narrow defeat at the hands of UMass.
Iona was the better team after 40 minutes of its Bowl game against AIC, and went into the locker room protecting a 7-5 lead thanks to a try by All-Conference center Mike Scarcella that was successfully converted by freshman Santi Mascolo.
Forced to play the second half without prop John Keane and Scarcella, momentum shifted into the hands of the Yellow Jackets. An unconverted try by AIC would put the ECRC Champs ahead by five points with just ten minutes left to play, but late tries were awarded to the Yellow Jackets down the stretch and allowed them to celebrate a 26-7 victory.
“AIC was very explosive,” commended Iona Head Coach Bruce McLane. “The game was physical, but very clean.
“We played tough and were kept out several times by excellent goal line defense coupled with [our] unwise tactics.”
The Bowl Series was a great way for Delaware to finish its fall semester after going 0-8 in its return to Rugby East. After not scoring more than 24 points in a single game during their conference competition, the Blue Hens were able to put 36 points on the Empire Conference’s Fordham and claim 36-21 win.
Buffalo, which had won three of its previous five matches heading into its Bowl game against UMass, wasn’t quite up to the challenge. After allowing a converted try at the eight-minute mark, the Bulls responded midway through the opening half with their own converted try to tie the contest at seven-all.
The Minutemen did well to extend their lead to 19-7, but Buffalo would put itself in position to win with a second converted try at the 65-minute. Soon after the Bulls second try, UMass added a crucial penalty kick. A determined Buffalo side never stopped coming at the Minutemen and its perseverance earned one last try, but the Bulls still fell 22-19 at fulltime.