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High-Quality Rugby Highlights Queen City Jamboree

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High-Quality Rugby Highlights Queen City Jamboree

Charlotte vs Fort Hunt. Will Fagan photo.

Charlotte Junior Rugby hosted the Queen City Rugby Jamboree this weekend and here’s a look at some of the action.

Charlotte 27 Fort Hunt 24

In a clash of the #1 HS Club (Charlotte) and #6 HS Club (Fort Hunt), Charlotte held off a late Fort Hunt surge to inch past 27-24 Sunday.

On Sunday morning Charlotte learned that their starting flyhalf, Porter Goodrum, had been up all night ill and would not be able to play. Freshman Finlay Mitchell was drafted in to don the #10 jersey and he held his own in very difficult circumstances.

In a barnburner that had the large crowd on its feet, Fort Hunt led 12-10 at halftime only to see three Charlotte tries put them ahead 27-17. the Warriors clawed back and scored a try to make it 27-24 with three minutes to go.

The Tigers closed it out, although it's worth noting that without Goodrum they were 1-for-5 on conversion kicks.

Chae Spiotti came on at center after starter Damian Piasecki got turf pellets in his eye and sparked the entire team with his enthusiasm and work rate. 

"The team rallied around him," said Charlotte Head Coach Erik Saxon. "And we were able to hold on because we know our fitness is good we didn’t freak out."

Fort Hunt showed well and got a big performance from prop Brian Flamenco, especially on defense, and flyhalf Hunter White was effective with the boot, ran the attack well and was strong on defense, too.

This was an interesting HS Nationals preview.

Phoenix Alpharetta

Phoenix Alpharetta came up from Georgia and took two nice victories on the weekend. Against Western Loudoun Alpharetta got five tries flanker Matthew Erickson and cruised. On Sunday, they faced a Maryland Exiles team that had beaten Wando 36-33 the previous day.

Phoenix has several LDS Church players, and they were not available on Sunday, but the Georgian team fronted up well and beat the Exiles 31-19. 

Fort Hunt 36 Jaguares 15

Fort Hunt won well against the Florida Jaguares select side. 

“We really appreciated the Jaguares flying in for the weekend and giving us some National-Class competition for our opener,” said Fort Hunt Head Coach Dale Roach.

Much-Needed Games

Coaches welcomed the chance to play challenging games.

“Erik Saxon and Charlotte host a terrific tournament,” said Roach. “Great atmosphere, great facility, and great competition.”

“I think what made the jamboree so successful for us, in addition to the quality opposition, was the quality of the referees,” said Exiles Head Coach Dan Soso. “We had two A Panel referees this weekend. They put a priority on providing high-quality referees for their youth and high school teams. It's a model that should be followed across the nation. Erik Saxon gets my vote for rugby man of the year. Our kids had a a great time and saw some great rugby this weekend."

All the Boys HS Varsity Scores:
Wando 33-36 Maryland Exiles (C38)
South Greenville 15-12 West End 
Phoenix Alpharetta (C40) 59-7 Western Loudoun
Jaguares 15-36 Fort Hunt (C6)
Wando 15-38 West End
Phoenix Alpharetta (C40) 31-19 Maryland Exiles (C38)
Charlotte Tigers (C1) 27-24 Fort Hunt (C6)
Clayton Copperheads 17-31 Jaguares
South Greenville 22-17 Western Loudoun