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The strongly favored NYAC (1-0) easily dispatched of the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 58-17 at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, Mass. Saturday to move atop the American Rugby Premiership standings.
The Irish jumped out to an early lead when scrumhalf Mike Durant sprung over for a converted try. “The Wolfhounds started really well, but we were able to bounce back and take control of the game,” NYAC assistant coach Neill McMillan said. NYAC scored the next 22 points, taking a 22-7 lead into the break.
The floodgates opened in the second half. Despite losing Seamus Kelly to a professional contract with Gloucester Rugby Club late in preseason, NYAC maintained plenty of depth at center. Outside center Troy Hall dotted down four times, creating holes in the Wolfhound defense.
Chris Baumann, Justin Hundley, and Mike Petri, all of whom are slated to play in the Americas Rugby Championship, played particularly strong games. Potential Eagle Al McFarland also made solid contributions from the No. 8 position.
“You have to give NYAC a lot of credit, they are a fine side. To get to that type of standard you have to improve, but you can’t get there until you play against them, I was happy with the way we finished but we were beaten by a better side," said BIWRFC coach Fergal Hehir.
"We gave them two silly tries in the first half, with possession we gave away, and when you make mistakes like that you are going to get punished”.
Unlike other teams competing in the ARP, NYAC opened league play without playing a preseason game. The AC managed to shake off the rust throughout Saturday's win, which was important with Life coming in next weekend.
“We need to sharpen up a little bit as we move further into league play. It was a nice warm up to the Life game next weekend, but against teams like Old Blue and Life you have to be patient," said McMillan. "Turnovers get punished pretty quickly so we have to make sure we limit our turnovers.”