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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rhode Island Falls To UW-Whitewater

Press Release

The University of Rhode Island Men’s Rugby team completed a very successful fall season with a close and hard-fought loss in the Northeast Regional final at Founder’s Field in Cheswick, PA on Sunday, Nov. 22. Rhode Island’s opponent U. Wisconsin-Whitewater, last fall’s National Championship runner-up, was ranked #2 nationally going into the weekend, but found themselves sin a tough contest with Rhode Island. The Rams had several good scoring opportunities in the early going, but were unable to capitalize, and the Warhawks, who had easily dispatched Springfield on Saturday (85-12), sandwiched 2 early tries and one late in the 1st half around penalty kicks from the Rams’ Anthony Kennedy at 20 and 35 minutes to open a 19-6 advantage at intermission. URI had shown a power advantage in the forwards during the half, however, and the Rams defense kept the Whitewater offense from getting fully organized.

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URI continued to use its forward attack opening the second half and drove deep into Whitewater territory, capped by Darryl Brooks powering in for a try to finish one series of rucks, and Will Coris finished another Ram break for another try, pulling Rhode Island within three, 19-16. Wisconsin-Whitewater responded with a try in the left corner at 64 minutes, but Adam Nabb covered his own scamper and kick ahead for another URI try, bringing the difference back to three points with 7 minutes to play. But a blocked kick ahead by URI led to one final Whitewater try to close out a 31-21 win.

URI had advanced to the Regional final with a 58-17 victory over SUNY Oswego on Saturday in what the SUNY-Oswego coach called “a good old-fashioned beat down.” Anthony Kennedy, Chris Hayes, Adam Feiszli, Tom Morini, Jack DeLeo, Darryl Brooks, Alex Sabitoni, Will Coris, and Vinny Liguori all scored tries, while Kennedy added 13 more points kicking. Rhode Island was in the playoffs by virtue of its 15-7 defeat of Vermont, one of last year’s regional finalists, in Kingston the preceding Saturday in the final match of the regular season to claim the New England Collegiate Rugby Conference title. URI finished the fall season with a 10-2 record overall, 9-1 in conference.

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