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Coast Guard to 3-0

irish rugby tours

Coast Guard to 3-0

The Coast Guard Academy Men's Rugby team defeated sleeping giant University of New Hampshire in their toughest challenge since the season began three weeks ago.  

UNH was hungry for a win after two tight losses in regular season play, with a total losing margin of only three points. The CGA Bears dominated in the first half, playing 80% of the game in UNH's territory. Only 10 minutes into the game CGA gave a way a penalty deep in CGA territory allowing UNH an easy penalty kick, giving UNH the first points in the game, 3-0.  After 28 minutes with no scoring, Coast Guard’s Allen Shaw broke through for a try. Jacobi Bradford put CGA in the lead 7-3, and that’s how the half ended. 

CGA Bears came out fiercely in the second half defending hard against UNH's attack. UNH drew an unlucky penalty in the first minute allowing Bradford to kick for points, to bring the score up 10-3, and eight minutes later Jake Balchikonis scored for Coast Guard. Bradford's conversion gave the CGA Bears a convincing lead of 14 points at 17-3.

Six minutes later Bradford was cited for a dangerous tackle, and was red carded for the offense, putting Coast Guard down a player for the remainder of the game. With CGA playing a man short, UNH took swift advantage, kicking a penalty goal and then scoring a try to make it 17-13.

Coast Guard reorganized, and brought in some tactical subs to boost the team’s energy. The move paid off, as one of the subs, Mason Totri, scored in the last six minutes and Shaw’s conversion made it 24-13.

UNH battled back and scored a last-minute try to bring the score to 24-18, and there was time enough to score again. But in the final minute the Bears held the ball, and Coast Guard captain Steve Palmieri kicked it out to end the game.

CGA joins Rhode Island as the only two 3-0 teams in the New England CRC.