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With a 38-7 victory over Boston, Life clinched first place in the inaugural year of the Atlantic Rugby Premiership. The Running Eagles moved to 7-0 with the victory, and with one game to spare, wrapped up the title.
Life jumped out on Boston, scoring three tries in the first five minutes. “They guys did really well yesterday in pods. We executed our pattern and we were able to score some great tries,” said Life coach Blake Bradford.”
Life struggled a little bit after the early moments, however. The Running Eagles were without AJ MacGinty at flyhalf and were missing several other starters to Eagle commitments.
“We took our foot off the gas a little bit…. At times we didn’t play our best rugby of the season. Having our three Eagles gone in key positions we had to go to our depth a bit.”
Nonetheless Life managed to stymie Boston and went on to win 38-7.The Georgia side swept through the ARP with its closest game coming with NYAC in the fall. As the season progressed, the Running Eagles pulled away from the competition with resounding wins over NYAC, and Old Blue.
“For us, it all about continuous improvement, week by week, forcing each other to be better and to get better,” said Bradford. “It has been a great season.”
Life is thrilled to win the ARP and is focused on continuing the growth of its program. “We are just completely proud of every single guy on that team and within the program for being able to wrap that thing up yesterday,” said Life Athletic Director Dan Payne. “It is a fun competition to be a part of and it was great to wrap it up at home.”
Life will look to finish off the sweep of the ARP when it travels to New York next weekend to take on Old Blue. Although Life has won the league, the game means a lot to the home side as the second place finisher in the ARP earns a berth to the DI USA Rugby playoffs. Old Blue defeated the Boston Irish wolfhounds this past weekend and has an outside shot of catching NYAC for second place.
NYAC currently sits with a 4-2 record and 21 points while Old Blue has a 3-3 record and 17 points. With two games to play and a matchup remaining between the two squads, both teams are coveting the playoff berth.
The New York rivals will square off in New York on May 9th.