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The Potomac Athletic Club opened up their league season with a 28-16 bonus-point victory over NOVA, but no one on the club is all that enamored with the performance.
PAC was good in patches, but not consistently.
"It was first game of the season," said Director of Rugby Matt Owens. And it looked like it. "We didn't have any warmup games, so it took them a while to get back into it. Still, we came away with a bonus point victory and if you'd asked me a week ago how I'd feel about winning with a bonus point, I would have taken that."
The first half was a back-and-forth, stop-start affair as both sides made plenty of mistakes. Slowly, PAC started to look the stronger, especially up front, and that led to two tries from No. 8 Hannibal Vaivao, both converted by fly-half Greg Suellentrop. Up 14-8 at halftime, PAC found a little more space out wide in the second half.
Rob Newcomb scored on the wing, using his speed and stepping ability to beat the defense. Then lock and coach Ben Wiedemer scored to finish it up. Suellentrop kicked both conversions.
Agustin Dominguez was named man of the match. Normally a wing, Dominguez was drafted in as scrumhalf and performed well on the day.
But it's just a start in a long road, said Owens. PAC needs to recruit more as they have lost some veterans, and also because the MARFU season has expended from nine games to 14.
On the plus side, that means there will be meaningful league games in the spring, whereas usually a club will qualify for playoffs in the fall, and not play a game that matters for about four or five months.
"In the past, the playing the fall and waiting until the spring for the playoffs has affected us," said Owens. "We would get into a rhythm and then lose it. Now I think we will have more guys making the effort in January and February to play those meaningful games earlier in the spring. I hope it's going to help us, and other teams in MARFU."