Orlando and Naples scored big wins Saturday to stay atop the Florida Rugby Union hierarchy. Naples knocked off the Tampa Bay Krewe 26-16, and Orlando pounded Ft. Lauderdale 63-15.
Naples jumped out to a 19-0 lead over Krewe off of a pair of Gene Etcheverry tries and a Jack Shuh score. Krewe came back to make it competitive, but Naples stiffened its defense in the final stage of the game to hold onto the win.
Naples has now improved to 4-0 in league play, having beaten St. Petersburg, the Tridents, Daytona and Tampa Krewe. Coach Brian Vince credits an influx of talented players from both the Naples high school program and elsewhere for a portion of the team's success.
As luck would have it, two experienced players from North Dakota are going to law school at Ave Maria in Naples, and Etcheverry, the prop who scored a brace of tries against Krewe, has come from France.
Orlando’s lambasting of Ft. Lauderdale is their third massive win of the season. Orlando beat Krewe 34-3 and Orlando 57-5 earlier this season. Having also beat the Tridents, 27-25, Orlando is 4-0, as well.
Orlando takes on St. Petersburg Saturday, and appears to be the favorite. Naples gets a tough test against Miami, who hasn’t lost this season, either.
“Orlando, Miami RFC are challenges. We haven’t seen a few of the teams yet, so I really don’t have to say about them,” said Vince. “We’re just kind of, like any coach would tell you, taking it week to week.”