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Wild Weekend In Rugby East

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Wild Weekend In Rugby East

Will Lyke scored for Penn State. Colleen McCloskey photo.

Penn State is now atop the Rugby East after beating St. Bonaventure 43-20 Saturday.

The Nittany Lions put in a solid performance up front with Anthony Adamcheck setting the tone at tighthead prop, and Will Lyke have a strong game at No. 8. 

"We didn't start very well," said Penn State Head Coach Justin Hundley. "Took us a while to warm up after we got off the bus. But once we started playing in the wide channels, we were able to put pressure on them. Our forwards played well."

Hundley said St. Bonaventure showed plenty of ability in keeping Penn State in check through most of the first 20 minutes. The Lions did get a try when Peter Jean was prevented from scoring a try illegally, and Cory Ratka was sin-binned for his pains as PSU got a penalty try.

North Westall's try tied the game up at 22 minutes, and center Josh Smith went over to put SBU ahead, punishing a PSU yellow card to Labi Koi-Larbi. Xavier Fanmeyer replied for Penn State, and fullback Dalton Musselman's conversion nudged Penn State ahead 14-12 at the break.

In the second half, Penn State opened it up a bit and wing Jesse Capriotti showed off his pace with two tries. Lyke added one before Giancarlo Nastasi finished it off.

"We're definitely progressing," said Hundley. "We're just starting to work more as a team, and using that to get better each week."

Notre Dame College celebrated homecoming weekend with a dramatic 22-17 victory over Army. The game was played right after NDC's homecoming football game, in the same stadium, which was an occasion in itself as other sports are almost never allowed to share Homecoming space with the football team. But NDC welcomed West Point with open arms, with many NDC alumni in the military, this was a perfect fit.

"Matt Sherman is a great coach and a class act," said Notre Dame College Head Coach Jason Fox of the Army head coach. "He agreed to move the kickoff back to 4PM to accommodate Homecoming, and they were great opponents."

In a very dramatic game, Army led 17-12 with time winding down. Prop Sam Klimkowski's try with five minutes to go tied the game, and then with no time left, lock Calum Haddock powered over to win it 22-17. It was a special day for Haddock. It was his 21st birthday, and his parents and sister had traveled all the way from Scotland to see him play. They got to see that, and see him be the hero, too.

Kwame Sylvester and Fadzai Mushonga had big game at wing and fullback; Mushonga was notable also because Jeff Mutuku was slated to start, but picked up an injury in warmups. Mushonga was thrust into the starting role, working nicely with Sylvester for the opening try, and both played superbly all day.

Penn State is now 1st in the Rugby East with a 3-0 record. Kutztown (idle this week) is 2nd at 2-0, while Notre Dame leapfrogs St. Bonaventure thanks to the win. Army, amazingly, sits 0-2. Penn State and Kutztown face off next week. That is likely to be the conference decider. 

 

Rugby East Standings W L T PF PA PD BT BL PTS
Penn State 3 0 0 96 45 51 2 0 14
Kutztown 2 0 0 65 20 45 2 0 10
Notre Dame College 1 2 0 59 75 -16 1 1 6
St. Bonaventure 1 1 0 52 55 -3 1 0 5
Army 0 2 0 29 51 -22 0 1 1
Mary Washington 0 2 0 8 58 -50 0 0 0