UMW Wins Two In Warmup
UMW Wins Two In Warmup
In a entertaining and rainy day of rugby the UMW Futures side beat Christendom College 36-19 and the UMW first side ran out a 63-5 decision over the Griffins u23 side from NoVA.
In the first match freshman Jose L. Reyes (Prince William Rugby) was outstanding, scoring 2 times, and is getting better every week. 6-5, 2nd row, sophomore Ross Whitehead (Virginia Beach HS RFC) showed leadership and versatility and was all over the field, helping set up a couple try's after UMW initially got down 12-0 to a competitive and quite skilled Christendom team. UMW Futures played a controlled game and never got frustrated, many players showing that they are ready for the league season.
UMW was down 19-7 at the 53:00 mark and decided to turn up the pressure. Some strategic kicking, hard rucking and just working the ball through some phases enabled UMW to score the next 29 points and make the game fun for the home crowd. If the 2:00 pm game UMW welcomed the Griffins, a u23 team made up of a lot of talented rugby players, many of them former HS all-stars. Despite a steady rain UMW had good hands and ran tight lines - Nathan Neri (McClean HS) opened opened the scoring, striking from the wing with pace after UMW worked through the phases.
The game was still tight and very physical when junior flanker Jordan Sacks (Johannesburg SA) took a pop from #9 Harry Masters (Brisbane, Australia, who played excellent all day) and ran in a 30 meter try wrong-footing the Griffins backline and sliding for a try. Despite UMW scoring 63 points at no point would a fan would have thought that the Griffins were out of the game with their skill and tackling. They are to be commended for their play. UMW touched down almost every 5-7 minutes with #10 Michael Sacks (Johannesburg SA), Jordan Sacks again, center Mattson Bueche (Richmond, VA), center Daniel Northwood (Surrey, UK), wing Bradlee Nicholls twice (Johannesburg SA), #8 Matthew Gordon (Aberdeen, Scotland) and center Tom Williams (Bristol, England) all finding space in the try zone. Harry Masters at scrumhalf and Matthew Gordon at 8 controlled the pace and flow all day and both played well on offense and defense.
According to director of rugby Tim Brown the team members that make the real difference are the guys you don't see on the score sheet. "Unless you know rugby you might not notice that Tucker Chewning (Winchester,VA) and Lewis Grant (Richmond, VA) did some heavy lifting in our pack. Our coaches are working well together led by Min Sae Chae. It was nice to see alums Stuart Penninger and Sean Amico take control at halftime of the games and drill down on our pace and pattern. Coach Min has done a great job empowering the players and assistant coaches."
UMW travels to Baltimore next week to take on perennial power Towson St. According to Brown, "over the last 10 years we are maybe 1 win out of 10 games against Towson. They are big, physical, fast and well-coached and probably had the best 2nd half of our league season last year. They will not be easy for any team in our league, especially on the road"