Boston, Old Blue, Middlesex, and PAC are all through to the national Round of 16 in DI club rugby after all three won games in the Competitive Region #4 Saturday.
Old Blue defeated Schuylkill River 35-28 in a game that was not quite as close as the score might indicate. Old Blue led 35-21 before Schuylkill scored at the end of the game.
Wing Derek Lipscomb scored a try for Old Blue in the first half, and all the rest of the Old Blue points came from flyhalf Adam Siddall. Siddall kicked four penalties and a conversion for help stake his team to a 19-10 lead.
In the second half, Siddall scored all 16 of his team’s points with a try, a conversion, and three penalties for a total of 30 for the day.
Meanwhile Boston edged the Maryland Exiles 29-27 to advance. Sean Treacy, Rochie Lobb, Keith Wilkens, and Dan Christie all scored tries for Boston, while Lobb added three conversions and a penalty for Boston.
Middlesex defeated Norfolk 42-20.
The first half was a tightly contested affair with both teams trading converted tries and penalty kicks early on. While Norfolk was often able to play on the front foot from scrums and lineouts, the Middlesex forwards made their tackles and were able to create several turnovers at the breakdown that led to offense, including a long distance try by wing Drew Jacobs.
Norfolk struck first in the second half when an excellent territorial kick led to a botched Middlesex lineout. The Blues pounced to make it 18-17.
Norfolk then spent the next 15 minutes of the match with sustained possession in the attacking half, but the Middlesex defense was up to the task. A key turning point took place when openside flanker Jon Kokinda collected a loose ball on his own five-meter-line and turned upfield, fending off several tacklers and eventually offloading to Jacobs. Jacobs was then able to elude the Norfolk back three and finish the sequence, diving over for the try.
In the final quarter of play, Middlesex was able to leverage its fitness and score three late tries, including a third by winger Jacobs and one by fullback Vini Daly, who was excellent in the counter attack all day.
The only Mid-Atlantic team to win was PAC, which upended Buffalo 58-24.
“We were happy with the performance, but we did let in 24 points,” said PAC captain Greg Suellentrop. “We pride ourselves on our team defense so that wasn’t so good. But overall, we played well and if we solidify our defense going into the remainder of the playoffs we should be OK.”
No. 8 Hannibal Vaivao was a monster for PAC, bulling his way through defenders all day.
“He came to us he was 300 pounds and was effective then,” said Suellentrop. “Now he’s down to 250 and he amazing. No one wants to tackle him.”