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Rye, Raptor Tie in Tennessee

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Rye, Raptor Tie in Tennessee

Raptor and Rye scrum down.

In an intriguing inter-state meeting Rye HS of New York tied Raptor Rugby of Tennessee 10-10.

It was a good challenge for the defending Tennessee state champs and one of the top teams in New York.

The match started well for the Raptors as they took an early lead through some nifty back play between sophomore Eli  Baumann and junior Max Orefice. They linked up with Sam Jones who touched down in the corner.

Shortly after that, Raptor captain Nicholas Orefice injured and had to leave. 

Rye responded well and put the Tennessee side under pressure and eventually Rye got a penalty at a kickable position. Flyhalf Dan Dalton slotted the goal and it was now 5-3. Before the end of the first half and with Raptor down a player due to a yellow card, Rye set up a solid platform off a scrum and the ball went out to Dalton who snaked through and converted the try to make it 10-5 Rye.

The match was back-and-forth through the second half with both teams having chances, but making early-season mistakes stymied many of those. Raptor decided to rely on their forwards to get consistent go-forward and strong running from props Brysten Appleton and Bailey Black took them down to the line, where hooker Reece Lee went over.

Rain and it being a bit early for the grass to strengthen made for a bit of a slidey day, and that made scrummaging and direction changes challenging. 

The Raptor coaching staff praised the Rye coaches, fans, and players for their attitude on the visit and it seems like this is a game we will see again. 

"Rye is a high Rugby IQ side, well drilled, with great skill and cleverness," said Raptor Rugby's Richard Boone, adding that a bit more field awareness might have put his side over in the middle of the field, where the conversion might have been easier. Still, a tie seemed the right results. 

"We will take it as Rye is a very good side and a great program," said Boone