Four high-profile single-school boys HS teams met this weekend in the Philadelphia area, giving fans an early look at who is strong on the east coast.
DC’s Gonzaga pounded a highly-regarded Greenwich team from Connecticut 52-0.
Greenwich, however, had hardly been outside at all while Gonzaga has several good games under their belt.
After leading 24-0 at halftime, Gonzaga was urged by Head Coach Lee Kelly to up the tempo.
“In the second half we wanted to raise our level and not give them anything to feel good about and change momentum,” said Kelly. “We scored twice in the first ten minutes of the second half and cleared the bench. We started ten underclassmen so we are young physically but five of them have five plus years experience playing.”
Gonzaga has a tour of Argentina on the horizon, a possible game with 2012 NIT champs Dixon, and the Jesuit Rugby Classic to look forward too.
In addition, league play promises to be a bit challenging, with Perry Street Pride playing well. In the other big match this weekend, the Pride pushed Xavier in a 31-19 result that was 21-19 midway through the second half.
“I am happy with the effort,” said Pride Director of Rugby Tal Bayer. “We played hard but we are still working out some kinks. Xavier is a better rugby team at the moment, but when we didn’t try to go toe-to-toe with them, we made a few things happen.”
Down 21-0 Pride torched Xavier for three breakaway tries, and that’s what Bayer meant when he said his team made some things happen.
Xavier Coach Joe Sweeney said his team lost their defensive structure a bit at that moment. But they rebounded.
“The boys responded well and retook control of the game to score two tries and finish at 31-19,” said Sweeney. Perry Street is very dangerous. They have runners who can make something out of nothing. they have the passing skills to move the ball wide and they have a few real burners. They are a great group of kids and we're looking forward to hosting the for a weekend match in NYC in April.”
Overall, Bayer said he was “very happy with the game, I think the players are as well. It was a hard-hitting physical game that helped our guys understand the level we need to get to. If we stay healthy and quickly develop new players, we can make a run to our league championship again.”