It was a breezy day at University Park this Saturday when Penn State Nittany Lions narrowly overcame the Davenport University Panthers, 15-13 in defensive battle. The teams came head-to-head with less than a month remaining in the regular Fall season. “It was a very exciting match, Davenport is a very good rugby team” said Nittany Lions coach Don Farrell about this weekend’s match.
The elements dictated the paly on the pitch with both teams capitalizing on their advantage when the wind blew at their back. “There had to be at least a dozen goal line stand-offs by both teams,” said coach Farrell, each working off ten or more phases attempting to bring the ball across the try line. In those moments, the opportunities were abundant, though both team’s defensive efforts proved supreme in holding their attackers at bay to prevent a try. “It was quite a defensive match and was pretty exciting.”
A major success came from Penn State’s forward pack. Captain and lock, Daniel Metcalf continues to earn his stripes at the helm of the Lion pack. Freshman flanker Malcolm May is starting to come into his own as he expresses himself not only as a reliable force on the pitch, but as a emerging leader in his own right. Coach Farrell says of May, “he had a outstanding match. He’s been playing very well for us not only by fitting into our system but as a freshman, he’s leading the way defensively and that is always really exiting to see.”
A close match such as this really prompts onlookers to identify standout teams. As the East championship matches approach, Penn State and Davenport put it all on the line highlighting the competitiveness of this tightly contested conference. The guys are undoubtedly feeling it this morning because a defensive match like this makes the hurt feel good for both teams on a Fall Sunday morning. Farrell says, “it was one of those matches where unfortunately someone had to loose.”