URI Men’s Rugby 2014
2014 4Leafs XVs Men’s University Champions
The University of Rhode Island Men’s Rugby Club competes in the New England Collegiate Rugby Conference (Division 2, USA Rugby). Thanks to an outstanding group of coaches, we have established a culture of hard work and coaches recognize effort and talent. Playing time is earned through diligence at practice and performance on the field, and the competitive atmosphere brings out the best of all players, top to bottom.
|Standings||As of 10/14/14|
|Team||Wins||Loss||Ties||Bonus points||Conference points|
Rhode Island defeats Coast Guard on the road, takes over 1st place in conference.
The University of Rhode Island men’s rugby club edged into first place in the New England Collegiate Rugby Conference standings after hard-fought 26-17 victory over a tough Coast Guard Academy club in North Stonington, CT Saturday. URI came out on the attack with several long breaks along the left wing and pressed Coast Guard right to the goal line in the opening minutes, but Coast Guard’s defense remained firm and some handling errors in the wet early going kept URI of the board. Upon gaining possession, Coast Guard pushed their methodical, but relentless forward attack against the URI side, taking ground in mostly 5 and 10 meter chunks, the entire length of the field, capped by a crash-over try (converted) after a little more than 7 minutes. The tide began to turn in URI’s favor as the half wore on, as the Rhode Island forward pack exerted greater pressure on Coast Guard, and late in the half, after stealing a hook on a Coast Guard 5-m scrum, URI scrum half Orrett Douglas-Prawl shot a gap and scored to close the gap to7-5. URI’s pressure and counter attack when Coast Guard attempted to kick clear led to another URI try minutes later by hooker Rob Salter off a driving maul, with Anthony Kennedy’s conversion putting URI on top, 12-7. And just 3 minutes after, Rhode Island center Sav Varca broke through the Coast Guard line near midfield, then raced outside and behind the Coast Guard back line to score under the posts. Kennedy’s conversion left the half time score at 19-7, URI.
Coast Guard rebounded from the late half blitz to mount a more effective attack in the second half and found room 10 minutes in to score another try, closing to 19-12. But flyhalf Kennedy’s strategic kicking kept URI out of danger throughout the half and, combined with the URI forwards’ control of the possession, pushed play deeper into the Coast Guard end of the field. With 15 minutes to play, Rhode Island stole another hood from Coast Guard and #8 Jack DeLeo broke from the back and powered his way over the line from 15 meters out to extend the URI lead, and Kennedy’s conversion made the score 26-12. Coast Guard was not finished for the afternoon, however, and drove deep into the URI end for one last try as time ran out on a very physical and hard-fought match, the final score being Rhode Island 26, Coast Guard Academy 17. With the win, Rhode Island takes over first place in the New England Collegiate Rugby conference standings by 1 point over Vermont. Vermont and Rhode Island meet twice in the next 2 weeks.
The URI JRams faced their toughest match in a year as well, surrendering the first points they have given up all season while defeating the Coast Guard second side, 18-7. Jack Kelly’s dash up the middle of the field midway through the first half, along with Ryan McLarney’s conversion, were the only points of the first half. Two minutes into the second half, McLarney slotted a penalty kick to open the lead to 10-0, and Will Coris did the same at the 47 minute mark to extend the lead to 13-0. The play then went back and forth for several minutes, before fullback Brechan Allison broke free at the end of a long back movement to put URI on top 18-0 with 6 minutes left. True to Coast Guard’s effort, they fought back and pushed their way close to the line, eventually breaking the defensive line to score a try with only minutes to play, but it was too little, too late as the JRams prevailed, 18-7.
Rhode Island edges Norwich 18-12, remains undefeated
There was no rest for the weary Saturday as the Norwich University Cadets, after consecutive matches against top conference rivals Coast Guard and Vermont, visited the University of Rhode Island for what was expected to be a hard fought contest, and the match lived up to its billing. The Rams remain undefeated in New England Collegiate Rugby Conference play with a tough 18-12 win over a physical Norwich club. An early positional battle between the kicking of Rhode Island flyhalf Anthony Kennedy and the counter running of the Norwich back 3 went Rhode Island’s way, generating pressure in the offensive end that resulted in a Kennedy penalty kick 9 minutes into the match. Norwich took advantage of some errant handling by the Rams to counter attack and at the 16 minute mark, center Evan King found the Rhode Island defense lagging and crashed over for a try, converted by Michael Blackman to put Norwich ahead, 7-3. Minutes later, a long Rhode Island movement involving the entire Ram backline, some several times, was denied by Norwich just short of the line. Much of the rest of the half involved some very aggressive, close-in forward play and several deep threats in both directions, but none able to close the deal until Rhode Island outside center Saverio Varca broke through from outside the 22-m line 30 minutes into the half, breaking free from several defenders along the way, to put the Rams ahead 8-7 for the remainder of the half.
Norwich came out aggressively in the second half and pushed much of the contest into the Rhode Island end of the field. After several movements across and inside the Rhode Island 22, Norwich reversed the play and sent Michael Dowling free to the left corner for a try that put Norwich back on top, 12-8. As the half wore on, the URI forward pack began to exert greater pressure in both the sets and lineouts, as both a driving maul and a push-over try were narrowly defended by Norwich. As Rhode Island continued pressure in front of the Norwich posts, Alex Clark of Norwich was given a yellow card by referee Marc Voorhees for striking an opponent, and moments later, Rhode Island inside center looped his own pass and touched down in the right corner, giving Rhode Island the lead again at 13-12. And Rhode Island continued pressing the Norwich defense and moved the ball left-to-right across the field and through the hands of every Ram back, finishing with wing Vinnie Liguori’s try in the right corner with no time left to make the final score 18-12, a larger finishing margin than was typical of the game.
In the second game, the Rhody JRams continued their overwhelming domination of any opposition, steamrolling the Norwich B side, 67-0. The game was hardly underway when Sam Reyes broke out of the pack and raced half the field for a try, converted by Ryan McLarney, to make the score 7-0 3 minutes in. Norwich hung in defensively for several minutes, but then the Rhody floodgates opened. In the space of 12 minutes, the JRams scored 5 tries. Nick Saccoccio began the parade with a long run of his own, and new comer Garren Jansezian scored 2 tries sandwiched around tries by another rookie, Jack Kelly, and Ryan McLarney. With the addition of 3 conversions from McLarney, the JRams went to halftime up 38-0. The break certainly helped the JRams more than the Cadetes, As the JRams continued to maintain almost complete possession of the ball and mounted a relentless attack. Brechan Allison finished off one back movement with a nice sidestep for a try at 7 minutes, converted by McLarney, and Chris Hayes followed 3 minutes later with a try to make it 50-0. A raft ot of substitutions in the JRams lineup did nothing to staunch the flood, as Ike Njoku banged in his first try, followed by Kelly’s second try of the game, and Charley Starkey showed some flash down the left sideline for yet another try as time ran out, with the final score a staggering 67-0.
Rhode Island soundly defeats New Hampshire 42-22 and 33-0
The University of Rhode Island men’s rugby team remained undefeated in New England Collegiate Rugby Conference play Saturday with a dominant 42-22 victory over University of New Hampshire in at Student Rec Field in Durham, NH. From the opening kickoff, Rhode Island pressed deep in the New Hampshire end and remained in attack there for almost the entire first 10 minutes of the half. Repeated penalties on UNH were offset by URI knock-ons, but eventually resulted in 2 penalty kicks by fullback Tom Morini. Minutes later, inside center Dan Kando looped a back movement to score in the left corner, and when a clearing kick from URI was mishandled by UNH shortly thereafter, wing Nick Saccoccio pounced on the loose ball and fed center Sav Varca, who outflanked the defense at midfield and raced to the posts for another try, Morini converting. Varca later broke a long run from deep in the RI end past midfield and found Morini pursuing off his hip to finish the run, with Morini’s conversion putting URI up 25-0 after 28 minutes. And soon after, URI, who dominated the lineouts all day, stole a UNH lineout at midfield and moved the ball through 3 phases and 4 off-loads, flanker Ben Amerault going the final 20 meters for another converted try. With some aggressive tackling and running, UNH moved into the URI and put center Robert Evans into the right corner for a try shortly before half, but URI center Dan Kando responded by breaking from his own end to midfield and found wing Saccocio following, who dashed the remaining distance to the end zone to give URI a halftime lead of 37-5.
Rhode Island made a number of substitutions at halftime, which seemed to disrupt the team’s organization, and New Hampshire took advantage, converting an ill-advised URI pass under pressure into a pick-and-go try by scrum half David Smith 1 minute into the half and a penalty try awarded due to a high tackle following a strong run by prop Matthew Hamel at the 65-minute mark, but in between, URI dominated possession, and any thoughts of a comeback evaporated when URI fullback Morini chased down his own kick ahead in-goal for a try at the 70-minute mark. Again UNH responded strongly, scoring one last try with a minute to go when lock Matthew Kears ripped the ball from a URI forward and rolling into the in-goal, but it was too little, too late. Fly half Brain Shott was chosen man-of-the Match for URI.
URI’s JRams continued their overwhelmingly wining ways as well Saturday with a 33-0 thumping of the UNH 2nd side. Despite starting six players brand new to rugby this season, the JRams spent almost the entire game attacking in the UNH end of the field. Will Coris opened the scoring with a short dash off a ruck to give URI a 5-0 lead after 9 minutes, and the constant pressure of the URI forwards led to a string of penalties, 3 of which Ryan McLarney, kicked for penalty goals to make the score 14-0 at halftime. The second half opened as the first had ended, with RI pushing close to the NH goal line, where 6 minutes in, rookie Josh Adams picked up off the back of a scrum and crashed over for his first try. When cramps caused Coris to leave the game, McLarney, who had an outstanding overall game, moved to scrum half and didn’t miss a beat, taking a feed off a lineout and, finding the UNH backline up too quickly on defense, broke behind the UNH fly half for another try midway through the second half, which he also converted. And another newcomer to URI, Ethan Lynch, found his way through the UNH defense later to score his first try for URI as well. McLarney’s conversion gave him 18 points in the game, and cemented the final score at 33-0.
Rhode Island defeats Boston University in Conference Opener, 51-26
The University of Rhode Island men’s rugby team opened New England Collegiate Rugby Conference play Saturday with a resounding 51-26 victory over Boston University in Kingston, RI. The Rams wasted no time in opening the scoring, taking advantage of a BU miscue on the opening kickoff to attack the BU line off the ensuing scrum, and though BU repulsed the first few attacks, Kevin Almond was able to crash over from the back of a ruck for the game’s first try 2 minutes into the game. Boston University responded strongly, however, taking turnover ball at a ruck and pressing several phases down the right sideline capped by a try to tie the score at 5-5 8 minutes in. URI then mounted a relentless attack through the middle part of the first half that broke the game open. Sav Varca began the run with a try at 11:30, converted by Anthony Kennedy to make the score 12-5. Kennedy followed with a penalty kick from 40 meters 3 minutes later to stretch the lead to 15-5, and Almond finished the burst with another well-chosen pick-and-go for his second try of the half at the 19 minute mark. Kennedy’s conversion from near the left sideline made the score 22-5 midway through the half. BU’s defense stiffened after that, but the URI forward pack began to exert pressure in the sets and on defense, leading to a try by flanker Julio Tavarez when BU lost control of the ball after winning their own hook. And minutes later, wing Vinnie Liguori completed a long run by the URI backline with some evasive running to score a try shortly before halftime, with Kennedy’s conversion leaving the halftime score at 34-5.
URI returned BU’s favor on the kickoff opening the second half, knocking on deep in its defensive end, and BU took advantage, pressing the URI defense and finding room to score a converted try in the first 2 minutes of the half. Seemingly rejuvenated, BU continued its comeback, taking advantage of errant handling by the URI backline to send theBU center away for a long run for a try just 9 minutes into the half to close the score to 34-19. The URI forwards began to exert greater control over the attack, and 10 minutes later, drove a well-formed maul off a lineout to within 5 meters of the goal line where rob Salter finished the drive with a pushover try to extend the lead to 34-19. URI pretty much controlled the play thereafter, with fullback Tom Morini scoring two tries at the 65 and 72 minute marks, with Brian Shott converting once to put the game out of reach at 51-19. BU showed no quit, however, and fought back, pressing the attack back into the URI end and crashing over for one last try to make the final score 51-26
The URI JRams continued their own winning ways, defeating the Boston University B side, 64-0. Lightning struck quickly again in this game, as Sam Reyes and newcomer Brechan Allison scored tries in the first 3 minutes of the game, with Will Coris converting both. Greg Bolton followed with a bolt of his own for a try at the 10 minute mark, Will Coris followed suit 3 minutes later and Allison score his second try of the half 2 minutes thereafter to make the score 31-0 halfway through the first half! Ryan Malloy capped the dominant first half with a try at the 24 minute mark and giving the JRams a halftime lead of 38-0.
Despite wholesale changes in the lineup, the JRam stampede continued in the second half. Charley Starkey broke through for a try under the posts 2 minutes into the second half, before the BU 2nd side began to stiffen in defense. The JRams pack dominated BU’s forwards and maintained pressure throughout the half, however, and 19 minutes into the half, the inside combination of rookie Sean Sweeney, Ryan McLarney and Robbie Butler sent Anthony Morris away for a walk-in try. Minutes later, McLarney made his own move to score and shortly before the finish, Morris again finished a good movement with another walk-in try. McLarney also handled the kicking duties in the second half, converting 3 of 4 tries (ironically, all but his own), to complete the scoring at 64-0.