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Penn, St. Thomas Aquinas Meet Up At Lindenwood

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Penn, St. Thomas Aquinas Meet Up At Lindenwood

Penn defeated St. Thomas Aquinas 39-0 in a season-opener for the Indiana team.

It was Penn's third time outside, and while Aquinas had been on the field already, but this was still early days.

Meeting on the campus of Lindenwood University, the teams had cold, dry weather on Friday, March 2 and the snow slammed into the area that night, so Saturday's rematch was very different.

On Friday, Penn did well to unbalance a much larger St Thomas side.  While both teams struggled a bit early some very solid rugby was played. The Penn defense kept Aquinas in check all game, but it was some nifty offense led by senior captain Cian Messner at flyhalf that paced the Penn effort.

David Afa’ese, Kalet Ponce de Leon, Carson Taege, and junior fullback Nick Hardrict all scored tries. No. 8 Alex Kennach scored twice, and Messner converted three and added a penalty goal on a very windy day.

Five inches of snow were dumped on St. Charles, Mo. overnight, and the teams were set to play again. It was snowy (see above). Very little rugby was able to be played in the conditions and the shortened game ended in a 7-7 tie. 

Both coaches agreed it was good to play but the conditions were impossible to see any type of game plan. 

“It’s always good to go to LU as they are a fine host with exceptional facilities,” said Penn’s Head Coach Bart Bottorff.  “And playing two high level teams in St Thomas and KC Blues is always a gift this early in the season.”