You are here
It will be Jesuit of Sacramento and Gonzaga of Washington DC in the final of the Boys Single-School NIT, a repeat of the 2013 final won by Jesuit.
The Marauders from Sacramento showcased some slick ball-handling and superior power up front to take a commanding lead against Xavier. But in the second half of that semifinal, the New York team battled back, scoring twice to make it 20-12 with time winding down.
Xavier had a shot to win it, but an interception in the backline gave Jesuit a try under the posts, and the final nail in Xavier's coffin.
Meanwhile, Gonzaga was clinical against Penn. Fast to the breakdown and very good at retaining ball, Gonzaga forced Penn to defend most of the first half, and as a result Penn started to commit penalties. These were punished by Gonzaga's USA U20 and HS All American flyhalf, Ben Cima, who clotted four goals in the first half, and converted two tries for a 23-0 lead at the break.
Gonzaga, which had let Notre Dame de la Salette make a comeback on Thursday, was in no mood to do the same this time around, and scored quickly in the second half. They led 35-0 before Penn was able to score, which they did, twice, to make it 35-12.
"We rested six starters in [the quarterfinal]," said Gonzaga Director of Rugby Lee Kelly. "It was a roll of the dice and we were prepared to bring them in if necessary. When we got the big lead we subbed too many too soon and to LaSallette's credit they continued to fight there way back into the game. We were overall happy with our performance [but we] nearly got our feelings hurt."
No such problem for Gonzaga Friday, as they showcased some very crisp work in the backline.
Penn takes on Xavier for third place.