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We Told You! NEWCRC Very Tight

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We Told You! NEWCRC Very Tight

Mody Abdel Salam has been outstanding for UNH.

As expected the New England Wide CRC is going to be very tight in Men's D2 college rugby.

While weather kiboshed Maine-Orono vs Norwich, the other games were played and were all very competitive.

Bentley pulled off a nicely-taken 31-10 win over Boston University and really, by NEWCRC standards, that's almost a blowout.

UVM took on Coast Guard and pulled off a nice road win 25-22. Wing Matt Levy scored two tries in the victory for the Catamounts and flanker Zan Rice went over as well. CGA isn't out of it by any means as they kept it within three but it was a good start for Vermont.

But that wasn't the closest game of the week. That honor went to New Hampshire vs UMass Lowell, which ended deadlocked 22-22. Lowell had an early-season tie last year too.

UML had undergone some turnover in their pack and had to rely on their building depth. With co-captain Jon Brabo fighting through a leg injury and unable to launch big clearing kicks Lowell found themselves pinned in their own end and INH ran out to a 10-0 lead thanks to two tries.

In the second half, Lowell co-captain Diarmuid Allen ramped it up for the Riverhawks. The teams traded tries to make it 15-5, but then Brabo was able to twist his way through traffic to score. Once again New Hampshire answered and extended their lead to 22-10.

But a long charge from Joey Nguyen saw him over for the Riverhawks to make it 22-17. Lowell kept it up and marched down to the UNH line. The forwards worked the pick-and-goes only to have the ball stripped away. Still Lowell was able to pressure again. Riverhawks Man of the Match Andrew Koukou forced a turnover and the ball rolled to rookie Eric Sitomer, who dove on it to tie the game. The conversion attempt hit the crossbar and the tie remained.

For Lowell, as well as Koukou, Mike Harvey was key on defense and made some big runs also, while, said Head Coach Steve Diamantopoulos, freshman Olamide Martins came on in the second half and made an impact.

For UNH, Head Coach Sam Christy-Rubin, the game was inconsistent.

"We are grateful not to have lost," he said. "But we had some stretches of play where we were able to move the ball really well. Unfortunately we made some mistakes offensively that turned the ball over in bad spots. We were physical in defense but had a couple of lapses of communication that hurt us. Credit to UML. They were a scrappy team and didn't stop fighting."

UNH will rue have a two-score lead and seeing it fritter away. Scrumhalf Mody Abdel Salam has been playing some very good rugby, while No. 8 Quinton Martin has emerged as a leader.

The center pairing of Josh Patterson and Aidan Carr was solid and other young players showed well.

"I like our chances in each game this year," said Christy-Rubin. "It's a tough conference."