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RPI Edges Sacred Heart, On To Round of 16

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RPI Edges Sacred Heart, On To Round of 16

RPI defeated Sacred Heart 32-27 to win the Tri-State Conference for the second time in three years.

"We were able to prove what we thought, which is we're able to play at a top level for a full game," said hooker Ray Lanzillo, who led a strong forward effort, especially in the lineouts. "We always come out really hard, but in this game we played hard for a full 80 minutes."

And they needed to. Captain and fullback Seamus Holland was part of a strong day for the deep three, which included wings Brian Bonilla and Isaac Fultz. Those three scanned nicely across the field to plus holes on defense.

"I think we proved that we were the better team and we deserve to be here," said Holland. 

Key for the Engineers, said Holland, was a series of goal line stands that preserved RPI's slim lead.

With scrumhalf Cody Waldecker marshaling everyone around the breakdown, RPI is now in to the National Round of 16, and takes on VMI.

For Sacred Heart, winning the conference last year was just a taste of what is to come. The team graduated 14 from last year's squad, 11 of them starters.

"The guys set their goal of going to nationals again," said Sacred Heart Head Coach Ray Peterson. "They worked really hard to get better and surprised everyone but themselves."

Sacred Heart lost only twice to conference opponents this fall, both times to RPI.

Here is the completed USA Rugby bracket. (Click on image to see enlarged version)