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Gregory The Great Wins Rugby PA

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Gregory The Great Wins Rugby PA

Gregory the Great Academy Rugby 2019.

Gregory the Great held off Cumberland Valley 18-10 to win Rugby Pennsylvania's single-school boys title over the weekend.

On a day that saw temperatures climb past 90 degrees, GGA finished off what was a very difficult Rugby PA playoff series. Last week, GGA held off Bishop Shanahan 10-7 in the quarterfinals. Then this weekend Gregroy the Great won out on another hot day, beating St. Joseph's Prep 32-24.

On Sunday, GGA got two tries from flyhalf Eli Ziglinski, and Anthony Audino converted one and kicked two crucial penalty goals to secure the victory. Audino has been outstanding all season, not only getting points with his boot, but playing strong defense and being an effective part of the attack.

It was an undefeated season for the Highlanders, made possible by GGA's team defense against a potent Cumberland Valley team.

Gregory the Great is Academy a small Catholic school in Elmhurst Township, PA. Rugby is the main sport there. The school only has about 60 students and just about all of them play rugby. 

For Bishop Shanahan, while yet another state title was elusive, this was a solid season. Shanahan didn't look like it would make anything happen in the playoffs, but after a tour of Portugal with Irish Rugby Tours, the team came back somewhat invigorated. (Irish Rugby Tours may have started in Ireland, but can run tours to all parts of the world.)

A combination of cultural and team-bonding experiences, along with some unfamiliar rugby opposition, set Shanahan up for what was almost a huge upset.

"Playing a such a high level of rugby while in Portugal, all of our players had the chance to step up in ways they may not have known they were capable of," said coach Carl Scheuermann. "This gives a real boost to the confidence of our individual players and the team. The tour is always a great time to watch our young men look out for one another on the field and while touring around Portugal. This is my 6th tour with Shanahan Rugby and the level of rugby offered at the Portugal Rugby Youth Festival was some of the best I’ve seen during our tours. We had two full days of watching international rugby in a beautiful part of the world."