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DIA Latest: KU, Hammerheads, Iona, Navy, and More

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DIA Latest: KU, Hammerheads, Iona, Navy, and More

Iona and Trinity gather after the game.

It was a day of crossover non-conference games and some conference openers in DIA rugby Saturday.

On the crossovers, Trinity continued its winning ways on its tour of the USA, beating Iona 61-12 in what Iona head coach Bruce McLane called a "great learning experience for Iona."

Nandipha Dube and Cam DiGiorgio scored tries for the Gaels in the loss.

Navy defeated St. Bonaventure in a clash between Mid-South and Rugby East. Navy, which graduated 19 players from last year, is still a bit of a work in progress, but held off Bonnies 34-24. Kevin Strehle at scrumhalf was very good, raising the tempo of the Navy attack in the second half. On a windy day, Navy (in the first half) and St. Bonaventure (in the second half) struggled against the breeze.

Illinois lost to DIAA team Lindenwood-Belleville, but another Big 10 team, Ohio State, emerged victorious. After falling behind 7-0 to University of Notre Dame at halftime, the Buckeyes came back with a try from hooker Ben Richards (converted by Connor Forrestal) to tie it. Forrestal slotted a penalty to nudge his team ahead, and then, after a series of Notre Dame infractions, Mike Kwarteng went over to ice it for Ohio State, 15-7.


"We are maturing nicely as a squad," said Navy Head Coach Gavin Hickie. "Some very exciting rugby to come from us this year." 

The University of Buffalo won its first conference game in the team's new conference, the Liberty. UB and Albany were tied 12-12 at halftime, but Buffalo scored five unanswered tries in the second half. Captain Cooper Szelest scored two of those tries and added seven conversions for a personal tally of 24. Owen Lawther ran in three tries for UB.

Also in the Liberty Conference, Stony Brook battled out a 29-24 win over Rhode Island and moved to 2-0 in league play. 

Also from the Big 10, Indiana rebounded nicely from last week's loss to Iona with a 28-0 defeat of Western Michigan.

Syracuse hit Brockport to the tune of 58-7. Try-scoring sensation Jean Eric van der Elst was back at it, scoring the first three Hammerheads tries before prop Liam Hannah, No. 8 Matthew Kennelly, and lock Dermot Heavey chimed in to make it 36-0. Flanker Sam Martyn scored right on the stroke of halftime for a 41-0 Syracuse lead at the break. Scrumhalf Dillon Wall and hooker Aidan Kelly touched down in the second half before Brockport got on the board. Kelly added his second at the end of the game. 

Flyhalf Samuel Low converted four Syracuse tries. 

Also coming into as new conference is Mary Washington. UMW moved up from DIAA to DIA, going from the Chesapeake to Rugby East. Kutztown welcomed the Mothers into Rugby East with a 36-8 scoreline. KU led only by a try, 15-8, at halftime but surged in the second half with three converted tries. Matt Gelhaus, Keyon McLoud, Callum Bartlett, Kobie Tuckson, and DaQuan Perry all touched down for the Bears.

Thorn O'Connell added four conversions and a penalty goal as KU started the Rugby East season 1-0.