Boulder, Colo. – The second week of Rugby East play consisted of a plethora of Army tries, a shutout by Iona, and a penalty-plagued match in West Virginia. Let’s break down the week two matches.
Army vs. St. Bonaventure
The Black Knights came into this game after a dominating, 48-0, win over Buffalo, and picked up right where they left off, rolling St. Bonaventure, 55-0.
Army scored five tries in the first half, including two by D1A Player of the Week Andrew Fargo, and two conversations to put the side up, 29-0, at half. After the half, senior cadet John Sproul scored a try in the opening minute to continue the impressive performance by the Black Knights. Forty minutes and four tries later, the humbled St. Bonaventure squad left West Point with nothing but bruises.
The Bonnies, who had played a close first half against Penn State the week prior, weren’t ready for the physicality of the Army side.
Army will play the last of its three game home stand Saturday, Sept. 26, when they face Wheeling Jesuit at the Anderson Rugby Complex.
Buffalo vs. Iona
After a tough loss to start Rugby East play, the Gaels rallied and shut out the Buffalo Bulls, 29-0. Iona went up, 12-0, at halftime after two tries and a conversion, and rounded out the second half with two more tries and a penalty kick.
Buffalo just wasn’t ready to play rugby Saturday. The Bulls had a yellow card in the first half, and another in the second. Iona was able to capitalize on the second yellow card, scoring a try two minutes into the man-advantage.
Senior eight-man Evan Staikos and senior hooker Andrew Rossi both scored tries for the Gaels, and Tyler Ringwood scored two.
Buffalo will host No. 6 Kutztown Sept. 26, which will be the Bears’ first Rugby East game of the season. The Gaels will travel to western New York to face St. Bonaventure, a team that will be fighting for its first win of the season.
Wheeling Jesuit vs. Penn State
What was expected to be a physical match turned into one full of mistakes for both teams. Penn State was able to capitalize on more of the Cardinals penalties to take this one, 38-33.
The Nittany Lions started with a successful penalty kick off of the foot of scrum-half Jimmy Ronan, putting the side up 3-0. In the sixth minute, Zachary Reichenbach scored the first try of the game for Wheeling Jesuit putting them up, 5-3. After the try, Ronan and Cardinals wing Brandon Stine each converted two penalty kicks, keeping Wheeling Jesuit ahead, 11-9. Each team scored a try before the half, Penn State converted on its, and the score was tied at 16 going into the half.
The sloppiness only continued in the second half as Penn State drove in two more penalty kicks in the opening minutes. Ronan scored 24 points off of the eight penalty kicks the Nittany Lions had, which was ultimately too much for Wheeling Jesuit to overcome.
“Mistakes at this level are costly and we paid the price,” said Wheeling Jesuit Head Coach Tal Bayer. “Hopefully we will learn from our errors and move forward against West Point next week.”
Penn State will travel to West Virginia Saturday to face the Mountaineers in what will be West Virginia’s first match as a Rugby East team.