RUNY Routs Boston
Luke Hume dodges Boston defenders, Photo Courtesy of Troy Benson
RUNY Blank New England Rivals at Home
New York City’s first professional rugby match featured the classic matchup of New York and Boston in the forms of Rugby United New York (RUNY) and Mystic River Rugby Club, respectively, in front of a sellout crowd at Gaelic Park in The Bronx.
RUNY’s squad huddles before kickoff against Boston, Photo Courtesy of Troy Benason
RUNY got moving right away with bruising runs from number 8 Ross Deacon, and hooker Dylan Fawsitt, the team’s captain. Minutes later veteran RUNY lock Dave Gannon stole a Boston line-out and gave his side its first possession threatening Boston’s try line. Shortly after, a Boston player was called for not rolling away after making a tackle, and RUNY was awarded a penalty right in front of the posts which fly-half Jack Fitzpatrick kicked between the uprights to open the scoring. New York 3-0 Boston
Boston soon had its chance to strike back. After Mystic River lock Rob Brennan won a turnover, and Boston gained possession with the chance to attack. Attacking was certainly the mindset of Boston’s loosehead prop, Pino Maupese, as he broke through New York’s defense, and offloaded to center Matias De Paolis, who appeared to score the game’s first try. But to the chagrin of the visitors, and the delight of the home crowd, the referees determined that he had stepped over the dead-ball line before he dotted down for the score.
Just a few minutes later the home side would provide its fans another reason to cheer, as the forward pack set up a maul from a lineout, and the team’s captain, Dylan Fawsitt, put the ball down across the line for the first try of the game.
The New York side continued to maintain possession and after a big run from Michael St. Claire, and some powerful running from the team’s forwards, scrum-half Marcus Walsh was able to dart in between two Boston defenders a few meters out and dot down for the score. Jack Fitzpatrick’s kick was once again good, and RUNY extended its lead to 17-0.
Ten minutes later, RUNY’s St. Claire dotted down what was surely the try of the day. After some possession in the middle of the field for RUNY, the fullback Hume kicked a grubber which St. Claire booted onwards while simultaneously fighting off Boston’s Michael Kaivelata to stay in-bounds, and proceeded to chase down his own kick to the very end of the in-goal area, and touch it down for the try just before it went out the back. After a thunderous ovation from the capacity crow, Fitzpatrick’s conversion attempt came up short, making the score 22-0 in his team’s favor.
Just minutes later, St. Claire was right back to work with a break down the right sideline, and put the pressure back on the Boston defense. The visitors managed to keep RUNY out with a few minutes of sturdy defense, but ultimately center Chris Vakasisikakala spotted a gap and exploited it to dot down for a try. Connor Wallace-Sims took the conversion kick this time and made it to give New York a 29-0 lead at the break.
Early in the second half Boston maintained possession and threatened RUNY’s goal line. Wave after wave of Boston runners were driven back by the New York defense. The goal line stand roused the crowd from their seats to support the hometown defenders. The stand ended with a knock-on by Boston, and with the energy and emotion from the crowd overflowing onto the field, a short shoving match between the two sides took place in the RUNY end zone.
Mike Petri dives across the goal line for his first try of the match, Photo Courtesy of Troy Benson
From then on RUNY put on a show for its fans, scoring three more tries to put the finishing touches on the rout. Jake Feury bowled through Boston tacklers and offloaded the ball to Voigt, who then offloaded to substitute scrum-half Mike Petri, who covered the final 30 meters for the try. Later on RUNY’s scrum asserted its dominance, as it did the entire match, and marched its Boston counterpart back against the goal line, making it easy for Deacon to pick the ball and dive over for the score. With only a few minutes remaining RUNY had one more attack as Dave Gannon, carrying defenders on his back, offloaded to Petri, who shot through a gap for his second try, the final one of the match. Wallace-Sims made all of the conversions, and RUNY was applauded off the field with the scoreboard reading 50-0 in its favor.
Most Valuable Players
Rugby United New York: Number 8, Ross Deacon
Mystic River Rugby Club: Openside Flanker, Jon Kokinda
Rugby United New York (29) 50
Try: Fawsitt (12’), Walsh (25’), St. Claire (32’), Vakasisikakala (39’), Petri (57’, 77’), Deacon (70)
Penalty: Fitzpatrick (3’)
Conversion: Fitzpatrick (12’, 25’), Wallace-Sims (39’, 57’, 70’, 77’)
Mystic River (0) 0
Rugby United New York and Mystic River Rugby Club Lineups
Rugby United New York: 1 Anthony Parry, 2 Dylan Fawsitt (capt.), 3 Kirkland Hamilton, 4 David Gannon, 5 Nate Brakeley, 6 Gavan D’Amore-Morrison, 7 James Denise, 8 Ross Deacon, 9 Marcus Walsh, 10 Jack Fitzpatrick, 11 Mike St. Claire, 12 Connor Wallace-Sims, 13 Chris Vakasisikakala,14 Greg Voigt, 15 Luke Hume 16 Mike Brown, 17 Brian McKellar, 18 Chris Sullivan, 19 Dave Shotton, 20 Nick Wolley, 21 Mike Petri, 22 Jake Feury 23 Kyle Granby 24 Mike Tagliaferro
Mystic River Rugby Club: 1 Pino Maupese, 2 Greg Rasmuson, 3 Steve Cappello, 4 Rob Brennan, 5 Dave McKenna, 6 Chris Frazier, 7 Jon Kokinda, 8 Michael Kaivelata, 9 Ian Luciano, 10 Santiago Bertranou, 11 Vin Daley, 12 Matias De Paolis, 13 Paulo Aukuso, 14 Stephen Dazzo, 15 Jared Collison, 16 Devin Ibañez, 17 Gianni Miceli, 18 Scott Lucas, 19 Keaton Cashin, 20 Andrew Burns, 21 Eric Thompson, 22 Matt Dunleavy, 23 Akinola Raymond Head Coach: Josh Smith
Rugby United NY Staff
Head Coach: Mike Tolkin Assistant Coaches: Bruce McLane, Andrew Britt, Vili Vakasisikakala Manager: Kevin McCorry Head Physio: Ethan Burger Lead Physician: Dr. Marc Kowalsky
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