Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Glendale Beats Mystic River, Old Blue Tops NYAC

In one of the best non-league club matches of the year the PRP champions Glendale Raptors beat DI champions Mystic River 22-16 on the road in Massachusetts. Both teams have done a good job of getting high-level matches this year and this was one of the best.

As expected the match was tight with the breakthrough only coming late in the match. Spike Armstrong kicked an early penalty for Mystic River to put them up 3-0. However, the Raptors fought back and a try from Max de Achaval gave them a 5-3 lead. Ben Landry, who is working his way back into rugby after a stint in football, scored another unconverted try to extend the lead to 10-3.  Armstrong would hit another penalty before Glendale scored their third try of the half. With not much time remaining Vini Daley was able to grab a crucial try for Mystic River to make it 15-13 at at the break.

Take the jump to read more.

In the second half Mystic River scored on another penalty from Armstrong but only a few minutes later John Quill scored the final points of the match. The rain certainly had an impact but it was the Glendale forwards that were able to do most of the heavy lifting for the win.

Up next for Mystic River will be the DI playoffs against NYAC while Glendale will take on the NorCal Pelicans on Saturday.

Old Blue Beats NYAC

In the battle between New York's top two teams Old Blue ran out convincing 42-19 winners over NYAC. The friendly match between the two teams was a way for both to get a strong runout. NYAC are preparing for the DI playoffs. The match also served as part of Old Blue's Hall of Fame week.

Here is a write up of the match from Old Blue:

On a beautiful day at Columbia University’s newly resurfaced Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium, The Old Blue Rugby Club squared off against crosstown rivals, The New York Athletic Club in the Battle for New York.  Both sides competed in the fall American Rugby Premiership, with NYAC logging two close wins, 25-30 and 13-19.  With OBRFC celebrating its 53rd Anniversary on Saturday and NYAC preparing for the D1 playoffs, both sides were looking to deliver solid performances in their quest for bragging rights in the Big Apple.

The history between these two clubs represents the best American rugby has to offer.  In this match, NYAC boasted three Eagle veterans leading the side with Seamus Kelly, Al McFarland and Captain Nate Brakeley.  Old Blue answered with Eagles XV Ryan Matyas, Luke Hume and Tony Purpura, and Eagles and Falcons VII’s campaigners Connor Wallace-Sims, Derek Lipscomb and Rick Kirkland.

Both clubs have had successful spring seasons thus far. NYAC recently defeated Rocky Gorge 65 – 0 and Mystic River 20 – 7.  Old Blue on the other hand dropped a close one to top Canadian Territorial side, Ontario Blues 34 – 31, and defeated Mystic River 66 – 20.

NYAC opened the scoring with a try touched down by #15 Chris Mattina off a driving maul at the 12-minute mark. The conversion drifted off its line, OB 0-5 NYAC.  From that point until the end of the first half, Old Blue got the better of NYAC with four unanswered tries from #10 Sam Bright, #12 Ryan Matias, #9 Keenan Jacobs and #8 Dylan Fawsett, the VBrick Systems Man of the Match.  With all four OB tries converted by Bright, the scoreboard stood at OB 28-5 NYAC at 35 minutes.

With a few minutes left before the halftime interval, NYAC #10 Harry Bennett took a well-judged line through the Old Blue backline, broke a couple ankles with some nifty moves and touched down between the posts.  Bennett converted his try to make the score OB 28 – 12 NYAC at the break.
NYAC came out strong in the opening moments of the second half, helped by a yellow card to Old Blue and a man advantage.  The boys in red converted that advantage into points off a driving maul touched down by Kirk Hamilton, OB 28-17 NYAC with 30 minutes to play.

From there on out it was all Old Blue.  Connor Wallace-Sims, just back from his residence with the Eagles Sevens squad, turned a broken play into the play of the day.  Collecting the ball at his own 40, Wallace-Sims chipped forward three times and outran the NYAC cover defense to fall on the ball two yards inside the try zone.  Bright added the conversion to stretch the OB advantage to 16 points.

Ryan Matyas finished the scoring as OB loosehead, Paris Hollis, slipped a clever ball to Matyas at the OB 45.  Matyas turned on the afterburners to outrun Chris Mattina to the try line, making the score OB 42-19 NYAC.  The last ten minutes saw some nice play by both sides but no change to the scoreboard as Old Blue enjoyed a 23-point win over its worthy competitor, NYAC.

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