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Over the summer, the American Rugby Premiership was reorganized with swapping out two teams for a five club conference. Boston and Boston Irish have departed and the Glendale Merlins and the Life Running Eagles join Old Blue, NYAC, and Mystic River in the league. On Saturday, Old Blue took on rival NYAC and the Glendale Merlins tackled non-conference opponent, the Ontario Arrows.
Old Blue at NYAC
For the first match of the reshuffled ARP, Old Blue struck first in battle for New York with a 76-33 win over NYAC at Travers Island, N.Y. Old Blue used a frenetic, yet controlled pace to ring up 12 tries on a strong NYAC team.
“We wanted to play with a tempo that no one could live with,” said Old Blue coach Dom Wareing. “It’s something we’ve been working on since last spring. We’re playing with a speed that we hope is not only the fastest in North America, but also the most accurate; causing turnovers by bringing a lot of pace in defense and when we have the ball, generating it from narrow channels to wide channels with pace and accuracy that make it a hard cover for defenses.”
Wareing credited his Eagles Cam Dolan, Nate Augspurger, Connor Wallace-Sims, and Luke Hume for pushing the pace and raising the bar for Old Blue.
Outside center Sean McGarrity started the scoring three minutes in, followed by Kyle Granby, Hume and Rich Kirkland. After only 17 minutes, it was already 29-0 and Old Blue did not look back from there.
NYAC struck with a try at 25’, but Hume answered with his second. Finishing up the scoring for Old Blue was Cam Dolan, Hume’s third, Wallace-Sims (2), Nate Augspurger, and Alex Schwarz (2). Wallace-Sims tacked on six conversions.
“It’s always nice to get a win over NYAC, especially up at their place,” said Wareing. “But, it’s more that we’ve proven to ourselves that we can play the way we want rugby to be played, to show that we are hopefully innovating and leading the charge in North America. We are looking forward to the rest of the season and we’re really focused on our longer-term goals. We’re trying to push forward and play the most exciting and dominating rugby in America.”
Ontario Arrows at Glendale Merlins
The Glendale Merlins, the competitive club side of the Raptors, defeated the Ontario Arrows, 41-7, in an elite-level friendly at Infinity Park Stadium in Denver, Co. The game was tight for the first 26 minutes before Glendale’s offense proved too much for Ontario. Glendale’s John Ryberg struck first just two minutes in and the 7-0 lead held until Ontario knotted it up at 23’.
Three minutes later flanker John Quill gave his team a lead it would not relinquish. Will Magie tacked on the conversion and hit a penalty kick at 32’ to spot the Merlins a 17-7 lead. Wing John Ryberg scored five minutes later, Magie converted again and at halftime it was 22-7 Glendale. With the momentum firmly in hand, Glendale finished this one with a 19-0 second half en route to the 34-point victory.
Alexander is a beat reporter for Rugby Today, published author, freelance sports writer and club rugby player for the Potomac Exiles and the Beltway Elite 7s. For more rugby action and his sports takes, follow him on Twitter @alexanderdiegel.