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The 1979 Eastern Rugby Union Championship was won by Old Blue of New York, who beat Baton Rouge in Kenilworth Park, Washington, DC. The New Yorkers won handily 24-0.
The route to the title for Old Blue began in Albany, NY, for the Northeast championship two weeks earlier when Old Blue, Boston RFC, and Albany Knickerbockers met in round robin play to determine who would advance to DC. Old Blue triumphed twice, defeating Boston 13-7 and Albany 18-9.
At the ERU contest, the four representative fifteens were Old Blue, the Norfolk City Blues, Baton Rouge, and Whitemarsh from Philadelphia. Old Blue brought an undefeated eight game skein to the tournament. Baton Rouge were 12-2, including a victory over the Chicago Lions in the Mardi Gras Festival. Norfolk City achieved a 24-game win streak, including prior wins that season in the Ed Lee Cup. Whitemarsh were 10-1-1, including a win over Guilford RFC, a touring English side.
Old Blue rolled over Norfolk 21-9 while Baton Rouge beat Whitemarsh 15-6. In the finals, Old Blue dominated play, and piled on points with four successful penalty kicks and two, converted tries for the 24-0 shutout.
Old Blue was founded in 1963 by Columbia University graduates after the school forbade alumni from playing on the college rugby fifteen. It was the first American city rugby club to tour England, the visit in 1966, winning six of nine games. (Dartmouth College had toured England earlier in 1959.)
(Saturday, May 5th is the annual Old Blue Hall of Fame dinner in Manhattan for club players, coaches, members, and guests. Congratulations to an outstanding program celebrating its 55th anniversary.)