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(Game recap provided by Daniel Soso.)
The Maryland Exiles defeated North Bay 37-15 in a hard fought affair in the Maryland State Championship. The game was played under sunny skies at Warner’s Rugby Farm, the home of the Wild Geese Old Boys.
The Exiles struck first after kickoff moving the ball forward through multiple phases until Fullback Chris Minor was able to touchdown a Javier Quiros converted try. What looked like it might be an Exiles blowout was turned around quickly. Successive Exiles penalties led to an unconverted try for North Bay by Cole McDonough. Game on (Score Exiles 7 -- North Bay 5).
The Exiles struck next with a kick to the corner. As North Bay struggled to come to grips with the ball, the Exiles were able to turn over the ball and bring it all the way back across the field for a converted try by Chris Minor. On the next possession however, the Exiles suffered the first of their four yellow cards (one for North Bay). Playing with twelve players on the field, the Exiles struggled to come to grips with a resurgent North Bay team pounding away at their line. Eventually, it was DJ Burke who was able to punch his way through the line for unconverted try (Score: Exiles 14 -- North Bay 10)
With the clock ticking, the Exiles were able to get one last possession before halftime. The ball was kicked ahead to Freshman Wing Travis Levy. Levy was able to separate his opposite number from the ball and the Exiles were able to swing the ball to the middle of the field. Then a change of direction brought the ball back to Levy, who was able to skip through the defense for an unconverted try underneath the post (Halftime: Exiles 21 – North Bay 10)
The second half opened with an Exiles attack that went through seven phases before the ball was chipped ahead by Exiles Flyhalf Trevor O'Neill who regathered the ball and shifted it to Travis Levy was able slip through the North Bay cover defense to score an unconverted try. However, North Bay answered right back with their third unconverted try, this time by Andrew Visconti (Score: Exiles 28 -- North Bay 15)
Late in the second half, Maryland Exiles sustained pressure was rewarded with another try. Scrumhalf David Canonse was pressuring his opposite number who passed the ball to Exiles Flanker and Team Captain Archie Cullen who touched down an unconverted try to give the Exiles some breathing room and a 32 - 15 lead.
Just prior to full time, Eight Jake Price was able to convert sustained defensive pressure into a try. Flyhalf Jacques La Fonta was able to make the extremely difficult conversion from the right corner of the field. The final whistle: Exiles 39 - North Bay 15.