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Navy Beat St. Bonaventure to Clinch Rugby East

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Navy Beat St. Bonaventure to Clinch Rugby East

Navy goes undefeated through the fall. David Hughes photo.

Navy clinched 1st in the Rugby East with a 28-8 defeat of St. Bonaventure Saturday.

Lewis Gray opened the scoring with a try and the conversion and while St. Bonaventure answered with a penalty goal, a try from Dale Sturdifen and a Roanin Krieger penalty put the Midshipmen up 15-3 at the break.

Navy's defense was very strong throughout the game and they held Bonnies tryless until the final minute. Sturdifen added his second 69 minutes in and converted that and added two penalties to seal the game.

The victory improved Navy to 9-0 in the Rugby East and 11-0 overall. St. Bonaventure dropped to 6-2 in-conference.

"We are bitterly disappoint to have allowed Bonnies to score a try on us in the last play of the game," said Navy Head Coach Gavin Hickie. "We pride ourselves on our defense and should not have conceded that try today."

However, added Hickie, capping off the season with wins over Army and St. Bonaventure was a good way to end the fall.

"It takes a lot to become Rugby East champions and we have fulfilled our goal to reach that summit." But, Hickie added, "there it a lot more to come from Navy Rugby."

Meanwhile, Queens University beat Mt. St. Mary's 52-10 on Senior Day to improve to 6-1 in the conference. Prince-Louis Bush led the Royals with three tries, Campbell Van Rooyen scored two, while Cullen Cunningham, Tertius Dietrechsen, and Landon Starnes each scored one try. 

Notre Dame College improved to 4-4 with a 23-15 defeat of Penn State, marking a big improvement from the fall of 2021 and marking them as a team to watch in the future.

While there remains one game to play on Sunday, here is what all of this means:

1. Navy wins the Rugby East and also, when the conference is split into North and South, takes the North division as well.

2. Navy will advance to the D1A playoffs in the spring, and it's expected Army (6-1) will do the same.

3. Queens (6-1) finishes ahead of St. Bonaventure (6-2) and will be put forward as the #1 seed to the NCR D1 playoffs from Rugby East, and St. Bonaventure being the #2 seed.

4. Has there been, as was expected for much of the fall, a third seed from the Rugby East, it would have been NDC.