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Spring 15s A Key Component as Mount St. Mary's Downs UMW

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Spring 15s A Key Component as Mount St. Mary's Downs UMW

MSM in blue and UMW in stripes. David Hughes photo.

Mount St. Mary's defeated Mary Washington in a non--league spring game that is part of a small trend toward playing more 15s after the New Year for fall-centric programs.

Both college teams have voiced a desire to keep 15s front and center event after the fall, citing the desire to keep more players involved, and also to help more of the players develop their 15s skills.

So Saturday was part of that plan, and a good showing by a Mount St. Mary's team that is working to build on its recruiting of US-based talent. UMW is also building up its younger players. 

MSM Head Coach Jay Myles said the 39-15 victory was an indication that the players are starting to get it a little better. Playing at a small college that is in the very competitive and challenging Rugby East, and with their reliance on US players, the Mount needs to get as much game time as possible for those players.

The Mount was strong in contact and as a result broke tackles which got them going forward. The front row of Damon James, Ray McGettigan, and Gavin Moore set the tone. Shamar Lewis was tough to stop at No. 8 and worked nicely with scrumhalf Chris Cleland, while out wide some big plays by fullback Jude Fangmeyer and cneter Evan Corbett helped turn UMW pressure into MSM points.

"We've been working on our system and that's definitely been a work in progress," Myles told GRR. "We we have to play 15s at this time just to develop that system. Don't get me wrong, 7s is great, but we're developing a system in our 15s and it's not the same as 7s. We're really blessed to have opposition like Mary Washington and to be able to play at Sega Field as a curtain-raiser for the MLR game. This was a wonderful opportunity for the young men to learn and grow."