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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Rhode Island Tops Coast Guard For Share of Conference Lead

Press Release

The University of Rhode Island Men’s Rugby Club muscled its way back among the contenders for the New England Collegiate rugby Conference (NECRC) title with a resounding 33-17 victory over the United States Coast Guard Academy Saturday in Kingston, RI. Rebounding from last week’s disappointment in Vermont, the Rams pounced on a mishandled opening kickoff, taking possession deep in Coast Guard territory, and off a short series of rucks near the goal line, Adam Nabb danced in to touch down under the posts, with Anthony Kennedy’s conversion giving URI a 7-0 lead after just 2 minutes.

Rhode Island maintained offensive pressure on the Bears utilizing several well-placed grub kicks to stay inside the Coast Guard 22, and again following pounding rucks in the right corner, Rhode Island swung the ball across field and Nabb turned the left corner to score his second try at the 14 minute mark. And 4 minutes later, Ryan Malloy returned a clearing kick across mid-field and then sent fullback Tom Morini loose down the sideline. Morini sidestepped one defender and outraced another to the left corner and turned to the posts, with Kennedy’s conversion extending the Rhody lead to 19-0. Coast Guard regrouped thereafter, and taking advantage of a couple of ineffective clearing kicks by URI, Nick Dunbar found a gap to score in the right corner 4 minutes later, closing to 19-5.

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Rhode Island’s forwards maintained pressure on the Coast Guard pack and were rewarded with a penalty kick by Kennedy at 27 minutes, and the half closed at 22-5.

The second half opened as the first, with the Rams flooding the Coast Guard defensive zone, and Kennedy added another penalty kick 1 minute into the half to open the lead to 25-5. The Rhode Island defense seemed to relax a bit at that point, and the Coast Guard backline used its ball handling skills to find room to run. Lou Depaulis ran in a try at the 49 minute mark, Alan Shaw converting, and Ricky Moore followed with another try just 6 minutes later to close the gap to 25-17, putting a bonus point within reach. The rams snuffed that hope however, with a third Kennedy penalty kick at 59 minutes, and Morini put the nail in the coffin with another long break from midfield down the left sideline for a try at 67 minutes, putting the lead back to 33-17.

With the Rhode Island victory and Vermont’s win at Boston University, the Rams, all 3 teams have 4-1 records at the midpoint of the season, with Rhode Island and Vermont a bonus point up on Coast Guard.

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