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Marist Holds Off RPI in Tri-State

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Marist Holds Off RPI in Tri-State

Marist pulled off a very big Tri-State Conference win early in the season, beating RPI 25-12.

RPI came into the season with a big roster and some experience, and certainly plenty of potential. Marist also has bolstered its numbers and looked fairly polished on the day.

The game started with Marist playing in RPI's half for the first 10-15 minutes. That pressure resulted in some penalties and Marist opted for the kicking tee, with flyhalf Federico Gubana putting two over for a 6-0 lead.

RPI was able to gain some territory in the middle of the first half, but Marist's defense held. No. 8 TJ Finnegan, Gubana, and Dan Peters all stole balls to stall RPI attacking moves.

Marist had several runs down into the attacking 22, but the RPI defense forced turnovers or errors. It was like that for much of the first half until Peters managed to get over in the corner to give Marist a lead of 11-0 at halftime.

The second half saw the teams battle back and forth some more, running the phases but eventually getting stopped.

Then RPI struck, kicking ahead into Marist territory. The ball rolled into in-goal and Marist was unable to secure the ball and the Engineers pounced on it to score.

That made it 11-5. Marist then struck back using their huge pack. With about a ton of weight in the front eight, Marist was able to test the RPI defense. That drew in tacklers and then centers Enrique Pesantez and Albert Severini found some space.

All of that put Marist close and then freshman T.J Finnegan punched in a try from a few meters out, which Gubana converted.

RPI was able to respond after a penalty and make up quite a bit of ground with a kick to touch and then a quick throw from the lineout that led to another try in the corner. That was converted and Marist held a tenuous 18-12 lead. 

Gubana then broke through to the corner. He was dragged down and unfortunately pulled up injured and had to be subbed off.

That was a chance missed and the two teams battled on for the next 20 minutes.

RPI was able to hold possession for a time but Marist did not relent and kept the Engineers out of their 22.

Then, after a turnover caused by Finnegan, Marist went through more than 20 phases, setting up a chance for Severini to cut through for the final try. scrumhalf Oliver Wilson converted to finish it off 25-12.

This was a relatively stop-start match but one played with a lot of vigor and toughness. Both teams should do well in the rest of the season, but Marist will be thinking about some missed chances.

Still it was the first league game for both teams in about two years.