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In the second week of DI North Atlantic play, Mystic River defeated Portland by the score of 43-10 at Pine Banks Park in Malden, Mass. The other game saw Hartford pick up a thrilling road victory over White Plains, 47-46.
Mystic River jumped out to an early 19-0 lead before Portland got on the board with a converted try. The Barbarians added the next two tries, moving the game to 36-7, before Portland responded. Mystic River added a late try to seal the 43-14 victory.
Vini Daly ran in three tries for the Barbarians, including a 50-meter run. He appears to be fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered at the 2013 USA 7s championship. The former Middlesex man is incredibly explosive, having netted four tries in the first two league matches.
The White Plains versus Hartford match proved to be a much closer affair. However, for the first 50 minutes of the match Hartford really controlled the game. The Wanderers led 27-12 at halftime and added the first two scores of the second half.
At the 50-minute mark, Hartford No. 8, Wes Haughton, left the game and it really tipped the balance in favor of White Plains. White Plains scored six second-half tries and came within four points of Hartford. White Plains No. 8 Rob Stabik had several damaging runs, and scrumhalf Charlie Razzo produced quick ball in the second half, leading to White Plains success.
“It was a game of two parts. Our defense started crumbling and White Plains really capitalized on it,” Hartford coach David Fischer told Rugby Today. “Their entire pack played really well today and they really dominated the lineouts.”
The Wanderers added a try with seven minutes to go after the former Sacramento Lions fullback Peceli Rinakama fielded a kick, beat several players and offloaded to newcomer and former Seattle man Fili Botitu. He beat four players and touched down for what seemed to be the backbreaking try.
White Plains refused to go away, adding two tries in the final seven minutes to pull the game within one. Scoring at the death, White Plains had an opportunity to sink a conversion for the win. The kick from the corner sailed wide, but the referee awarded White Plains a second attempt for a Hartford early charge. The second attempt failed as well, but the referee again awarded another attempt due to a Hartford player yelling during the kick. White Plains missed the third and final attempt leaving Hartford with a 47-46 victory.
White Plains ended up converting only 3 of eight conversions on the day. Hartford coach David Fischer praised the play of his flyhalf and kicker Stephen Malone. The former U-20 Leicester product was awarded man of the match with his successful kicking and ability to set up tries. He totaled 17 points on the afternoon.
“It was a very exciting win for us," said Fischer. "It was a real key game because only two teamsmake the playoffs. That being said, it is a long season and we still have to improve upon some things.”