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Monday, September 14, 2015

Rhode Island Win Season Opener Over New Hampshire

University of Rhode Island Men's rugby club opened their season with a tough 22-20 victory over the University of New Hampshire in Durham Saturday. The Rams came out fierce defensively, forcing several turnovers and mishandling in the Wildcats’ backfield, and 5 minutes in, Adam Nabb scored the first try of the 2015 fall season. UNH struck back quickly, however, breaking a tackle in midfield and splitting the URI back 3 to touch down between the posts at the 13 minute mark. Led by flanker Julio Tavarez, URI upped the defensive pressure, leading to an Anthony Kennedy penalty kick at 17 minutes and Alex Zygmunt’s short-side try off a goalline ruck for a 13-7 URI lead at half.

The second half was a different story, as UNH again broke the URI line for another long try 1 minute into the half. Kennedy added another penalty kick 6 minutes later, but UNH began a patient tight forward attack that eventually worked its way to the goalline, capped by a leaping UNH try to take a 17-16 lead after 56 minutes. URI’s forwards continued to win a majority of ball for the Rams, but handling errors and poor judgement let several prime scoring opportunities slip by. At the 61 minute mark, another Kennedy penalty kick put URI back on top, but NH responded with more controlled ball and a penalty kick of their own to lead 20-19 at 70 minutes. From there on, however, the URI forwards took control of the game, maintaining possession and ultimately leading to Kennedy’s fourth penalty kick of the day 3 minutes later, and the Rams kept play in the UNH end of the field to maintain the slim margin of victory. Rhode Island travels to Norwich University in Vermont for their next match next Saturday.

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