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Although Life wrapped up the ARP last weekend, NYAC and Old Blue were battling for second place and a bid to the USA Rugby Division I playoffs. With a dominant 71-12 victory over the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, and an Old Blue 30-20 loss to Life, NYAC takes the automatic berth to the DI playoffs.
After 20 minutes of play in New York, Life opened the scoring with a penalty. James Bird evened the scoring for Old Blue, but the remaining 15 minutes of the first half were all Life. The Running Eagles reeled off four unanswered tries to take a 25-3 halftime lead.
Old Blue earned the first points of the second half through a penalty to cut the lead to 25-6. Life would add one more try before Old Blue kept the Running Eagles at bay. Old Blue scored two tries late in the match, one from the base of the ruck and the other out wide in space to cut the lead to 30-20. However, the final score came at the death and was merely consolation for the home side.
NYAC jumped out early on the Wolfhounds and controlled the game throughout. The Boston side was missing a number of players and struggled to get any continuity going all afternoon.
“The guys put in a pretty good performance. We were without our Eagles but we still have a lot of depth,” said NYAC coach Neil McMillan.
In the final week of the season, NYAC will meet Old Blue for a rivalry game in New York City. Despite having the playoff berth in hand, McMillan views next weeks game as the most important of the season.
“From our point of view next week is like our cup final. It is going to be the biggest game we play,” added McMillan. “Both teams know that this is going to be a real big fight and a close game.”
Although the standings are secured, the rivalry impact of this game will play a large role. NYAC defeated Old blue in the fall 29-28 and this match should prove to be another close contest.
“For us, the games don’t get better than local derby’s and this should be a pretty hotly contested one,” McMillan concluded.