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RPI Win Pivotal in Tri-State

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RPI Win Pivotal in Tri-State

The Tri-State Conference playoff matchups are set with Vassar facing off with Sacred Heart and RPI taking on Fairfield next weekend.

For Vassar and Fairfield, the prospect of playoffs wasn’t in doubt. Both have cruised through their divisions without too much concern. The only really difficult opponent was RPI, a team they beat 27-22. Fairfield outscored opponents 66-10 (per game average) and no team really came close. But the other two teams saw their playoff prospects hinge on last weekend, and, in fact, one game. Sacred Heart beat Maris 43-24 to improve to 6-1, but that wasn’t necessarily enough.

New Jersey Institute of Technology had more bonus points than Sacred Heart, and even a tie with RPI might have been enough. But the Engineers beat NJIT to ensure their place in the playoffs (Marist losing to Vassar didn’t hurt), and eliminated NJIT in the process. For Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, then, it’s a chance to get another look at Vassar, although they will have to work their way through Fairfield first.

RPI were led by senior and captain Cody Clifford, who was all over the place at scrumhalf and scored the team’s opening try. In the forwards, sophomore Brady Condron was co-man-of-the-match, and Jordan Fisher took the honors among the backs. He, also, is a sophomore.

“We have improved a lot,” said club president Kieran Davis. “We played Vassar early in the season, and lost, and I think we are better now. We had issues early on in over-committing to the rucks, but we’ve cleaned that up. We’re better at recognizing and exploiting space. Our backs are playing with more continuity.” Davis said RPI knows that Fairfield is a tough team - they ran in 102 points on Siena College on Saturday - but they’re not afraid. “We look forward to that game, and hope it gives us another shot at Vassar,” he said.