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Rhode Island Gets Past Norwich

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Rhode Island Gets Past Norwich

Tom Marini and Chris Hayes scored two tries each as the URI men's rugby team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 48-18 victory Saturday over Norwich University in the New England College Rugby Conference (Men's DII) in Northfield, Vt.

The Rams struck early, following several penetrating runs in the Norwich half, with a five-meter scrum that produced a pushover try for Jack Kelly three minutes in. URI kept the pressure on, attacking several times deep into Norwich territory, but failed to finish several scoring opportunities. But eventually they did break through when fullback Tom Morini split the Cadets backline and scored under the posts. Anthony Kennedy’s second conversion made the score 14-0 at the 25-minute mark. The try appeared to light a fire under the Norwich side, which began to use its pounding forward attack to press ahead, then sending wing Nate Beede free down the left sideline to score in the corner only two minutes later. Keegan Frick’s outstanding conversion kick from the sideline making the score 14-7.

The Cadets continued their pressure into the URI end and lock Ryan Wagner capitalized on a badly tapped URI lineout to score again in the right corner, closing to 14-12 after 34 minutes. URI answered, however, putting Ryan Malloy away in injury time, Kennedy again converting for a 21-12 halftime lead. 

With URI mishandling the opening kickoff in the second half, Norwich quickly pressed its attack and was rewarded with a penalty kick by Frick seven minutes into the second half. But with a stiff breeze at its back, URI was able to clear its end and fired up its backline attack. Outside Center Chris Hayes scored two tries in a span of 4 minutes, Kennedy converting the second, to open up a 33-15 lead. 11 minutes into the half. Norwich was able to hit a penalty kick 5 minutes later, but from there it was all Rams as Morini and replacement 8 Sam Reyes sandwiched a pair of tries 6 minutes apart around a Kennedy penalty kick to finish the scoring at 48-18. Lock Kyle Hevert was selected as the URI Man of the Match. 

URI’s JRams overwhelmed Norwich’s second side, 40-0, with Zeek Clark scoring 2 tries and Dario Magnoli, Nick Saccoccio, Lucas Goff, Kevin O’Brien, Mich Miller and Kyle Macomber getting 1 each. URI opens its home season against Boston University next Saturday at 1 p.m. in Kingston.