Atlantic North Picks Back Up With Empire Playoffs

This weekend in the Atlantic North, got back into the swing of things as men's teams from the Empire's Division II and III competitions started their playoff campaigns. In total there were eight games played and for the most part the top teams in the competition were able to separated themselves from the rest of the pack pretty easily. 

Morris Lions vs. Syracuse Chargers: 
The Lions leapt out to an early lead and never looked back, in the first match of the weekend. They were able shut the chargers out completely in the first half, going into the break up 31-0. Syracuse, despite having their backs against the wall, came out in the second half swinging and won the second half; however, the damage had been done and the Lions were able to advance to the tune of a 46-21 victory. 

New York Rugby Club (NYRC) vs. Princeton Athletic: 
In a display of total domination NYRC, put away Princeton 66-10. Princeton were able to get on the scoreboard first, but then NYRC's backs took control of the situation, in particular their fly half, Andrew Magowan, and inside center, Mark Marwood. Magowan's game was firing on all cylinders as he contributed 26 total points, with two tries and eight conversions. Not to be out done Marwood was able to help steer his side to victory as he secured a hat trick. 

Fairfield Yankees vs. Bayonne Bombers: 
Fairfield landed a convincing victory over Bayonne this weekend. The Yankees scored the first twenty-one points of the match before the bombers struck back with ten unanswered points. However, the Yankees were able to regather themselves and add on a further twenty-one points to their tally. Fairfield moves on to the quarterfinals courtesy of a 42-10 scoreline.

Buffalo Rugby vs. Village Lions: 

The closest game of the weekend came from Western New York, as extra time was needed to separate these two teams. It was the men from Manhattan that got on the board first through a try to their blindside flanker, Rob Stabille. Despite their early lead, the Lions found themselves in an uncomfortable situation as Buffalo went on to score twenty four unanswered points. However, the Lions weren't going to roll over without a fight, and they came back to score three tries in the final eighteen minutes. This included a last minute try to tight head prop, Callum Mackintosh and a sideline conversion from replacement second rower, Jack Faure. With the game headed to overtime the difference came down to a missed conversion, and it was the Lions who were able to complete the comeback. Village Lions advancing, 31-29. 

Division III:
Long Island Rugby vs. Gotham Knights: 
It was a tale of two halves in the fixture between Long Island and the Gotham Knights. Long Island raced away to an early lead in the first half and were sitting comfortably on an eighteen point lead heading the break. The Knights tightened the screws defensively and were more disciplined in the second half, but  despite their improved defensive efforts they were unable to convert any real attacking opportunities, ultimately falling 31-3. 

Union County Mudturtles D3 vs. Lansdowne Rugby: 
Playoff rugby is tough, and it's even tougher when you have to play a man down for seventy minutes, which is what the Mudturtles were faced with this weekend. A red card in the early stages of the game gave Lansdowne the upper hand, and they took full advantage. Final Score 55-5. 

Danbury Mad Hatters vs. North Jersey Rugby:
This match saw over one hundred points scored, however, it was the Mad Hatters that did most of the scoring. Mad Hatters winning 80-21. 

Rochester Colonials vs. Buffalo Rugby D3:
While Buffalo's first team was unable to walk away with a win this weekend, their second team were. Buffalo raced out to an early eighteen point lead against the Colonials and never looked back. Rochester came close to drawing level when they crossed in the 49th minute to bring the game within five, but that was the closest they would get. Buffalo won 42-30.