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With eight teams in play in the Chesapeake Collegiate Rugby Conference, Mount St. Mary’s, Mary Washington, Maryland, and Virginia Tech, picked up wins in the second week of competition. In a battle between two of the top contenders for the conference crown, the Mount beat James Madison, 36-24, while Mary Washington defeated Towson, 34-19. Maryland outlasted Georgetown, 27-15, and, with the Commonwealth Shield at stake, Virginia Tech kept possession of the hardware by stopping Virginia, 24-10.
In the marquee match in Emmitsburg, Md., Mount St. Mary’s hosted James Madison. The Mount raced out to a 26-5 halftime lead behind a hat trick by Travis Bewley and a try by CJ BeasleyBewley. JMU rebounded in the second frame scoring two tries in the first ten minutes, but the Mount stepped up the defensive pressure as the game progressed. Tito Miranda extended the Mount lead to 36-17 with a penalty and converted try before JMU scored at the whistle to end the game.
Describing the contest, Mount head coach Jay Myles said, “It was an incredible. JMU is well coached and their discipline is fantastic. They are an excellent side and it truly was a David and Goliath moment. Our boys stuck to our patterns and shapes and really put a lot of pressure on them... Neil Tunnah and Matt Williams with Pro Performance Rugby spent three weeks with us and we are just now getting comfortable with the shapes and patterns they helped us with.”
With having another pushover try and excellent work in the set piece, Coach Myles gave his game ball to his two props, Jack Bonner and Nick Maffei. “They were able to create a good platform for attacking both offensively and defensively. We put their set pieces under pressure and conversely, with our put in, we really kept driving them.”
Speaking on the loss, JMU head coach Mark Lambourne commented, “At the end of the day, we didn’t play well. The reason why they were able to do what they did to our backline is they played the referee better than we did. We never got into our flow. It was a very frustrating day and we made too many mistakes. We had all the opportunities to win the game no matter what happened, but we didn’t take them.
In search of its first league victory, Towson ventured south to Fredericksburg, Va. to face Mary Washington. After 80 minutes of play, the Mothers emerged victorious, 34-19. Fernando Meersohn and Tucker Chewning scored in the first half for Mary Washington and George Northwood added a penalty for the 13-5 lead. Two tries by Man of the Match Andrew Lamarca and another by Terence McPhillips extended the tally out of Towson’s reach for the Mothers’ first conference win of the season.
Mary Washington coach Tim Brown indicated that the key to the game was his team’s counter rucking ability and not getting flustered when Towson scored. “It is nice to beat Towson,” Brown said. They are very good, big, skilled and physical and their coaching staff is top notch, but look at our entire league, it is a murderous schedule for any team and we have a lot of things to work on.”
After amounting a 15-0 halftime lead, Georgetown looked to be in control against Maryland in College Park, Md. In their first conference match, the Terps stormed back scoring 27 unanswered points for the victory. Penalties were abundant in the match and all of the scoring was inflicted on the wind side of the pitch.
Maryland head coach Jeff Soeken spoke with Rugby Today stating that the second half was a stark contrast with the first. “We took better care of the ball, cut down on the penalties and turnovers. We ran wider with our forwards. We found some gaps and played a bit faster.”
In the rivalry game in Charlottesville, Va., strong forward play highlighted the matchup between Virginia Tech and Virginia. With the Commonwealth Shield in the balance, Virginia Tech captured the 24-10 win and will be bring the trophy back to Blacksburg.