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Queens, Brown to NCR D1 Final

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Queens, Brown to NCR D1 Final

Queens won the clash of two former D2 champions.

Queens University and Brown will face off in NCR’s D1 final this coming weekend after both won tight semifinals on Saturday.

A torrid first half saw the Royals past Thomas More Saturday evening. 

Queens took an early lead in this semifinal, running a well-worked and planned backline move that put fullback Roman Denevi in space. Denevi put on a move and took off toward the line. He was taken down before the try line but was not held and stretched over for the opening try less than three minutes into the game. 

Thomas More missed a chance off an attacking lineout, and the a few moments later Queens exposed a mismatch in the backline and flyhallf Tom Keay looped around to take a return pass and gallop in from 40 meters out.

The Saints managed to hold off Queens about midway through the first half but had to surrender a yellow card in the effort. Still Thomas More realized they had to be dialed in out wide. 

Keay set up center Tom Scott for a surge through and then it was back to Keay and out to wing Pierce Griffin and Queens led 17-0 going into the break. But Thomas More got one back with a nice maul off a lineout and some forward surges for prop Elijah Doyle to crash over.

Queens showed their quality to open up the second half with good pressure and a short-range try from Keay. Thomas More answered once again through the forwards to make it 22-12 but Queens managed to keep the Saints at arm’s length. Trevion Reed got a try and Denevi got his second.

Thomas More kept coming but Queens never trailed and booked their spot.

In the other semifinal Brown held off defending NCR D1 champs St. Bonaventure 14-9.

In a game where every scoring chance was crucial, Brown did just enough.

"Bonnies is a very dangerous team," said Brown Head Coach David LaFlamme. "Between their size, power, speed and game sense, we had to work incredibly hard for the full 80. This wasn't a game where we necessarily went into looking to attack their weaknesses. Our plan was to continue to do well what we normally do well. Consistent in our set piece and defend well. We wanted to be patient and work to control the ball through phases."

A yellow card against Brown put them under fuurther pressure but they limited St. Bonaventure to just the three points. Brown was able to tie soon thereafter and then scored a try for a lead of 8-3.

The teams traded penalties to make it 11-6 at halftime.

A full-on battle between the two saw the game become a bit of a slog, but an entertaining one. St. Bonaventure inched to within two points and it stayed that was as Brown missed two penalty goals. With time winding down, Brown took a lineout, drove up the field, and Rphael Lansonneur's third penalty goal. Captain Dan Archer then stymied one last Bonnies attack with an unterception.

It was an impressive defensive showing by Brown with a massive effort from the forwards. Archer was a force, making some crucial poaches at key moments. Fresh off four years of football, Junior Gafa joined the squad this week and provided a spark.

Oliver Corbett provided a key kick-block in a game where every game seemed to carry the weight of the season.