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Navy Outlasts St. Bonaventure

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Navy Outlasts St. Bonaventure

The US Naval Academy men's rugby team took two teams to St. Bonaventure this weekend, winning both the A-side and B-side contests.

In the 1st XV match, St. Bonaventure was first on the scoreboard when flyhalf Wesley Chiromo struck a penalty through the posts in the 4th minute. Navy came back with three points of their own minutes later after Navy's Braedon Mead broke the line, setting up a penalty attempt from 18 meters. Freshman Lewis Gray was good with the attempt and the teams were tied 3-3.

Navy and St. Bonaventure fought hard to break the stalemate following the initial penalty kicks. St. Bonaventure's fullback, Alex Churra, broke this deadlock after a Navy penalty kick missed touch, and the Bonnies returned it for a try. Chiromo converted the try for a 10-3 SBU lead. Another Navy mistake in St. Bonaventure's half led to scrumhalf Jon Rodriquez scooped up a loose ball and ran it in from 65 meters out. Chiromo was again good with the extras, and St. Bonaventure led 17-3.

The momentum shifted in the 38th minute when Navy captain Gordon Livermore sustained an injury that would keep him off the field for the remainder of the game. Unbowed, the Midshipmen rallied, and Collin Argue scored in the 40th minute to make it 17-8 going into halftime.

Navy carried the momentum in the second half with four tries. The first came when Erick Bleakley broke the Bonnie defense and forward Drew McMurrain finished it off for the try. The next two came from dominant scrummaging and clever lineout play in St. Bonaventure territory. Scrumhalf Kevin Strehle and hooker Ty Young both scored. 

Navy's last try came from a scintillating counter attack from a St. Bonaventure kick where Navy's Denver Fuller was able to tear through the defense. Navy's support and ball movement led to Strehle's second try.

That made it 34-17, but St. Bonaventure had not given up the fight, answering with a try of their own in the 76th minute from center Alex Holden after a lineout-and-maul. 

That finished it, 34-24. Navy also pulled out the victory in the 2nd XV game with a score of 24-5, with tries coming from Frank Bell and Jamie Honeycutt, who scored twice.

“We had to dig ourselves out of a hole but we showed some great character and resilience by clawing back from a 14-point deficit and ultimately scoring 34 points," said Navy Director of Rugby Gavin Hickie. "We’ve had 19 players graduate and currently have a couple of injuries so we are building some depth to our squad which we will need to utilize to fulfill our incredibly challenging schedule. Guys are stepping up and developing as rugby players, teammates and leaders. We have lots of work to do but we learned a lot about ourselves today and it’s going to be exciting to watch this year’s team mature and carve out their own identity.”


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