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Wins by Navy, Queens, and Bonnies in Rugby East

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Wins by Navy, Queens, and Bonnies in Rugby East

St. Bonaventure vs UMW. David Hughes photo.

Navy remains undefeated and takes over 1st place in the Rugby East after the Midshipmen defeated Kutztown 46-16 Saturday.

With Army playing a non-conference game (a 53-8 defeat of Air Force), Navy got a chance to vault to 7-0, with West Point at 6-0. 

"We tried out a couple of different combinations in the backline," said Navy Head Coach Gavin Hickie. "And they worked out for us today. Kutztown is a really tough place to get a win and the boys were fantastic today."

William Webb scored just 93 seconds into the game and tries from Ratu Osea Melibua, Sean MacLaney, and two conversions plus a penalty goal from Lewis Gray made it 22-0 after half an hour.

Kutztown found some opportunities, but Navy's defense made tries very hard to come by. The Bears had to resort to penalty goals while Navy got tries. Two from No. 8 Ben Haugh answered three Kutztown PKs for a 32-9 lead. And while Kutztown did finally get a try, Navy responded with Jack McMahon's first and Osea Melibua's second finished it off. 

So Navy is 7-0 and Army is 6-0. Both have beaten Air Force in the annual Commander-in-Chief Trophy series, so next week's meeting at Annapolis will be first 1st in the Rugby East (by winning percentage, Navy will end up with more games in the Rugby East slightly lopsided schedule) and will also be for the C-in-C title. 

Also in the Rugby East, Queens took tight control of fourth in the 11-team conference with a well-taken 40-23 win over Notre Dame College. Prince-Louis Bush scored two tries for the Royals while Campbell Van Rooyen, Marshall Frank, and Roman Deney also got on the scoreboard.

"We were able to string phases together for most of the game," said Queens Head Coach Frank McKinney. "Our forwards were able to get go-forward ball which enabled the backs to attack. We are a defensive team first and I felt like we did some good things defensively, but we've had great offloads the last two weeks."

In-form scrumhalf Hilton Olivier sustained an injury early in the match and Carson Green stepped in and played very well in his stead. Flanker Chester Stayon joined Louis-Bush in an effective back row performance. Tom Scott was very good kicking for goal and Tom Keay was dangerous in the backs.

"We were prepared for a physical game and NDC gave us a physical game," added McKinney.

Penn State won Saturday 24-15 over Southern Virginia to improve to 2-5, while St. Bonaventure improved to 5-1 with an emphatic 48-14 win over Mary Washington. In that game Bonnies got big performances from their big players, with Rocky Rose, Lorenzo Villiani, Matheo Lorenzato, and Keelin Coyle all making the scoreboard tock over.

What this all sets up is St. Bonaventure playing a very physical Southern Virginia team, which is no easy out, and then Navy on November 12. If Navy beats Army and then St. Bonaventure beat Navy, we could have a three-way tie at the top of the conference.

Meanwhile, if Bonnies slips and loses both, Queens could jump past them. Mary Washington (Penn State and Kutztown) and Notre Dame College (Mount St. Mary's and Penn State) are searching for two wins to end at .500. The Mount is in the same position but they play NDC and Queens and that will be tough.