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Navy Holds Off Tenacious St. Bonaventure

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Navy Holds Off Tenacious St. Bonaventure

Navy is now 4-0 in Rugby East.

Annapolis, Md. - Navy held off St. Bonaventure 15-3 in Rugby East action, keeping Navy atop the standings and handing Bonnies their first loss of the season.

It was windy and rainy and cold—fall has finally arrived with a vengeance—and that made scoring difficult.

A pair of first-half tries by the Mids were the difference maker to extend their winning streak to 25 matches.

“I think it’s fair to say that the weather conditions were a great equalizer today. We were left scratching our heads after this match. We were clearly dominant in a lot of areas of the game, but couldn’t get everything clicking for whatever reason,” said Navy Director of Rugby Gavin Hickie. “Obviously that was an important game to win, but the conditions didn’t allow us to play well. We did grind out a win because we were dominant in so many facets of play. We were very solid defending the try line and didn’t allow St. Bonaventure to threaten us. We are where we wanted to be at this point of the season and have set ourselves up nicely to continue to move forward. The team is very excited about next week against Air Force to battle for the Lt. Col. Kevin Shea Memorial Rugby Cup.”

Bonnies garnered the first scoring opportunity of the match in the eighth minute. Navy committed a knock-on and from the ensuing scrum were penalized. St. Bonaventure took the lineout at the Navy 22 and surged on with quick ball through the forwards. But Navy's Tanner Russell countered and forced a penalty in the rick and the Mids got out of it.

Navy had chance of their own after a big run from Vaughn Schmitz but Bonnies halted that and got the ball back.

A break from Landon Opp set up Avion Ganse but he was held up in-goal, and once again St. Bonaventure was out of trouble.

Finally somebody got over the tryline. The Mids took the goalline dropout and attacked back into the Bonnies zone. A penalty for not rolling away led to a lineout and while St. Bonaventure stopped the ensuing maul, Navy sent the ball wide and fullback Roanin Krieger stepped in as first receiver and snaked through two tackles to go over. Krieger converted his own try and it was 7-0 Navy after 24 minutes.

Navy's tactical kicking was fairly snappy and a little exchange between the two teams ended with Opp spinning out of four tackles to gain 20 meters. A penalty moved them down near the tryline and eventually a lineout and maul resulted in Jacob D’Amico touching it down.

Up 12-0 Navy basically held on from there. Bonnies slotted a penalty but that was the sum total of reward for their offensive pressure.

As usual, Navy did not yield on D.

Krieger added a penalty midway through the second half, but that was it.

St. Bonaventure drove inside Navy's 22 twice in the final 10 minutes of play, but more turnovers prevented a late comeback. The Mids' defense also prevented Bonnies from getting a close-loss bonus point.

"We needed to be more clinical in the green zone," said St. Bonaventure Head Coach Tui Osborne. "We had good momentum but made crucial errors and maybe were just a little bit impatient. We are very proud of the way we defended."

This is a very good St. Bonaventure team, but Navy's no-quit defense has them undefeated.