Penn State, Wheeling Jesuit knock off top-10 teams; Bulls, Bonnies win too

D1A Rugby: Penn State, Wheeling Jesuit knock off top-10 teams; Bulls, Bonnies win too
Photo Credit: WJU Sports Information

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Two Rugby East teams remain undefeated after Penn State and Wheeling Jesuit beat previously unblemished sides Army and Kutztown, respectively, while Buffalo and St. Bonaventure went over the 70-point mark to pick up one-sided wins.

Penn State 29 – 13 Army
Openside flanker Malcolm May’s three tries helped the Nittany Lions to their first win at West Point since 2006. The visitors raced out to a 15-0 lead supported by a Connor Cassidy try, May’s first of the day and five points from Jimmy Ronan’s boot.

Army fly half Jon Kim brought his team within nine points of Penn State before halftime, but that’s as close as the Black Knights would get to catching the now-first-place Nittany Lions. In the second half, May would crash over the line twice more to bring his team’s advantage to 29-6 before Army would tack on its lone try of the game through the hands of reserve center Jeff Malm-Anna just before the final whistle.

“I was proud of the boys today,” Penn State Head Coach Blake Burdette told psu.edu. “They were determined and didn’t give in. There we are buying in and aren’t accepting being average.”

 

Wheeling Jesuit 33 – 20 Kutztown
The Cardinals recorded one of their biggest wins in program history by defeating 2015 Rugby East Champion and seventh-ranked Kutztown at Bishop Schmitt Field in Wheeling, W.V.

Wheeling Jesuit settled for three first-half penalty kicks by Allan Hanson, but still trailed, 10-9, when Kutztown was able to punch in two tries. The turning point in the pivotal Rugby East matchup came when captain Hugh McAllister dotted down just before halftime. The senior lock’s score would be the first of 24 consecutive points the Cardinals would put on the scoreboard.

Peter Malcolm, Orrie Mann and Cullen Buckley would score second-half tries to stretch Wheeling Jesuit’s lead to 33-10.

Kutztown added two additional tries in the final 15 minutes of the match, but the damage was already done by the Cardinals, and they were able to celebrate their first-ever win over the Golden Bears.

 

Buffalo 71 – 22 Delaware
Buffalo earned its first Rugby East win since joining the conference in 2014 and did so emphatically. The outlook for the Bulls looked good from the get-go when full back Luca Wrabetz converted his own try in the eighthminute.

Delaware did, however, quickly answer with a Karl Malate try, but the Bulls would dominate the final 60 minutes of the match. Buffalo added five more first-half tries, including a second by Wrabetz and two from All-Conference flanker Maninderjit Singh to bring its halftime lead to 40-12.

The second half continued to go the way of the home team. Three more tries were run in by the Bulls before Delaware was able to get back on the front foot and watch Malate run in for tries in the 57th and 62nd minutes.

Buffalo would get back on the offensive in the closing 15 minutes and added tries by hooker Trent Dingman and Jason Burgio to cap an impressive performance and a hallmark win for the program.

 

St. Bonaventure 70 – 22 West Virginia
The Bonnies improved their Rugby East record to 2-3 by handing West Virginia a 70-22 defeat. St. Bonaventure raced out to a 24-0 lead after Stephan Tanner, Jesus Robles and Matt Williams found the try zone, and fly half Christian Artuso collected nine points from the tee.

West Virginia was able to take a slice out of the Bonnies’ lead when Sam Krizner’s 20th-minute try was followed by a successful conversion and penalty kick by scrum half Nigel Brookes to make the score 24-10.

The momentum for the Mountaineers didn’t last long as Matt Bergstol answered with a score at the 25-minute mark, and was followed by teammates Alfonso De Falco and Charles Schwenk before half’s end to push St. Bonaventure’s lead to 39-10.

The Bonnies’ dominant trend continued into the second period. Five more tries were run in by the Bonnies, including two more by Schwenk to give the winger a hat trick, and allowed St. Bonaventure to celebrate a 70-22 win.