DC Elite, PA, CT Tops JV in Northeast RCT
DC Elite, PA, CT Tops JV in Northeast RCT
Rugby Connecticut, DC Exiles, and Rugby PA all went 3-0 in the Northeast RCT Boys JV competition, capping off a successful weekend for those teams.
Connecticut, playing under coach Ed Mateo got some big performances from Jacob Robb, Cal Samuel, Joe Matteo, Reed Hammond, Bobby Huscher, and kicking points Francisco Liguori. All six featured heavily in the scoring.
"We had a tremendous blend of players from across the state and divisions for our JV team," said Matteo, whose team outscored opponents 110-12. "We talked as a team about having pride in the level of high school rugby in Connecticut and our players wanted to prove we are one of the top states in the country."
For Pennsylvania, the scoring dominance was almost identical - 119-10.
DC Elite outscored them all, logging 136 points in three game and giving up only 17.
Head Coach and Rocky Gorge backs coach Jorge Molinari assembled a team of local DC, Maryland, and Virginia suburb players representing Gonzaga, Georgetown Prep, Maryland Exiles, and Good Counsel. There were several returning players from the RCT in North Carolina and top talent from varsity squads joining the veterans.
“Guys on this team know how to win big games for their varsity teams, so they understood what we expected from them," said Milnari. "Forwards coaches Freeman and Iscaro were not able to join us in New Jersey, but you could see their influence in the way we executed the offensive and defensive plans very well. Their fluid play off one another demonstrated that experience and emphasized the point that many boys are able to play at a very high level in 3 or 4 positions. They were also very unselfish and willing to play in different positions than their preferred role in order to maximize the amount of talent on the field. It made coaching these guys easy.”
The fluid play was marked by the fact that ten different players scored over the weekend on individual efforts, assisted runs, mauls, grubbers, kick-offs and penalty kicks leading to the highest scoring offense in the JV division and largest point differential of 119. Backs Matthew Zaudtke, Bau Molinari, Alex Billups, Christian David, Patrick Dolan, Danny Cummins, and Ultan Horrigan were dynamic and led the attack.
DC started slowly in the first game on Saturday morning against a tough Raleigh Redhawks team, but eventually pulled away to win 41-5.
“We were really unhappy with the slow start, but to be honest it was the first time we had the whole squad playing together," said Molinari. "Mistakes were going to happen when you consider we had less than three full practices but backs are just so dynamic though."
DC improved as the weekend went on with a stifling and physical defense that forced MetNY into errors and penalties - three of which DC kicked for goal.
“I love these guys," said Molinari. "Everyone is so unselfish. So many guys could have said: 'no I play 8 or I play 10,' or whatever. Instead we all play for each other and it is showing up on the field, on the scoreboard.”
A little miffed that overnight Goff Rugby Report didn't mention DC Elite's efforts, the team put Ohio to the sword, leading 28-0 at halftime and finishing 48-5.
"We were mad and decided to take it out on Ohio," said Molinari.
"Our forwards were not happy and I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the other side of Jack Ondeck, Matt Freeman, John Loesch, Matty Crowe, John Kirlin, John Thompson, Charlie Martel and Jack Johnson this morning.” said Georgetown Prep sophomore and backs captain Matthew Zaudtke.
DC responded with two tries inside of three minutes and a potential third overturned by a knock-on in the try zone. The tone was set and it was 28-0 at halftime. DC rotated all of the players in to start the second half without any let up from Noah Lucas, Dylan Hitt, Luke McGrail, Luke Friel, Joseph Zarrelli, Liam Rafferty and Peter Begala with the final score 48-5 and a 3-0 record at departure for DC.
"Our forwards were not happy and I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the other side of Ondeck, Freeman, Loesch, Crowe, Kirlin, Thompson, Martel and Johnson this morning,” saidGeorgetown Prep sophomore and backs captain Matthew Zaudtke.
“These guys bleed rugby and are also true gentlemen," concluded Molinari. "They reflect great examples of Mid-Atlantic rugby on and off the field. We have a lot of talent on the east coast that gets overlooked sometimes and I hope we are changing things. I couldn’t be happier.”
-- Additional reporting Owen Goff