ORSU closes in on Glendale in WPL’s Blue Conference

While both of American Premiership Rugby’s New York teams have completed three matches in the inaugural ARP season, Life is the sole undefeated club.

New York Athletic Club and Old Blue of New York competed in their third consecutive week in the ARP Saturday, Sept. 27. Both entered the match 1-1, but it was NYAC that added a tally to the win column after a thrilling match on Randall’s Island.

After a Daniel Grace try in the first five minutes of the match gave NYAC a 7-0 lead, Men’s Eagle Adam Siddall put Old Blue on the board with a penalty kick in the 14th minute. Kirkland Hamilton extended the visitors’ lead to 12-5 before Old Blue hit back prior to the stroke of halftime with a Marcus Henderson try. Siddall’s conversion knotted the score after the first frame.

Siddall gave Old Blue its first lead of the match with a penalty kick five minutes into the second half, and fellow Eagle Mike Petri nailed a drop goal for NYAC five minutes later to draw NYAC level at 15-15. The teams traded tries in the next two minutes, but it was NYAC in the lead thanks to Justin Hundley’s conversion.

Siddall accounted for five of Old Blue’s 10 points scored in the final 20 minutes of the match, but a last-minute try from Hamilton – his second – drew the visitors within one. Eagle Troy Hall gave NYAC the slim, 29-28, win with the successful conversion kick.

Life visited Harvard University’s Cumnock Field Saturday to take on 1-0 Boston Rugby. Boston had a bye the previous week, giving Life a chance to continue its roll with two consecutive weekends of ARP rugby.

The match was a fairly high-scoring affair from the get-go, as Life’s Alan MacGinty converted his own try after 10 minutes. Cornelius Dirksen added Life’s second after Richard Lobb scored Boston’s first points with a penalty kick. Lobb drew Boston within three before the end of the half with a converted try.

The second half was all Life. MacGinty accounted for 20 of his team’s 30 points in the final frame with three penalty kicks, three conversions, and one try as the Running Eagles from Georgia left Massachusetts with a 42-10 win.

Old Blue finally gets a match weekend off this week, while NYAC will travel to Harvard for a match with Boston. Life will host the winless Boston Irish Wolfhounds in Marietta, Ga.. Both matches will be played Saturday, Oct. 4.

Twin Cities Amazons solidified their position atop the Women’s Premier League with a dismantling of winless New York Rugby, while Glendale Raptors took a step backwards with a loss to previously-winless Berkeley All Blues.

Women’s Eagle Phoebe Boone scored two tries and USA Rugby AIG Women’s Junior All-American Freida Fetuu added Berkeley’s fifth and final try of the match as a substitute as the WPL runners-up defeated the Raptors, 33-22, Saturday. Glendale traveled with Eagle hooker Kittery Wagner – though she started the match at scrum half – while Berkeley was aided by another Eagle hooker in Katy Augustyn.

The Glendale loss gave Oregon Sports Union and San Diego Surfers an opportunity to get closer to the Blue Conference leader. San Diego led, 19-17, at halftime, thanks to tries from Mollie Martin, Kyla Roth, and Elizabeth Trujillo. Eagle Sharon Blaney scored two of ORSU’s three first-half tries.

Following a Surfers penalty kick to open the second half, ORSU scored three unanswered tries – one after a San Diego player was sent to the bin – before the Surfers regained control of the match. Down by 10, the Surfers scored two converted tries for a late, 36-32, lead, but Te Awhina Ho Chee dotted down in the final minute to give ORSU the 39-36 victory.

The Amazons will not have to worry too much about losing their first-place spot if results within the Red Conference continue in a similar fashion. Twin Cities scored 11 tries in their 59-17 win against New York Sunday, Sept. 28, including six from Kaelene Lundstrum and one from Sylvia Braaten – both Eagles.

D.C. Furies is the closest team to the Amazons in the Red Conference, and were helped by a win against an improved Atlanta Harlequins side. The Furies held a halftime lead and were able to distance themselves from the Harlequins with a quick, second-half score for the 24-19 victory. Atlanta, which earned its first win last week against New York, had longtime Eagle Patty Jervey on its roster.

Glendale and Twin Cities still reign in their respective conferences, but the Raptors have three teams in their conference within four points. D.C. and Atlanta are seven and nine points behind Twin Cities, respectively, in the other conference. Glendale will look to bounce back from its first loss of the season against oncoming ORSU Saturday, Oct. 4, the only WPL match of the weekend.