CHESTER, PA. 6/2/2018 – The Saint Joseph’s Hawks earned a draw with the Wisconsin Badgers in their first game of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship at Talen Energy Stadium. The Hawks were hoping for more, but a try with no time on the clock enabled the Badgers to knot the score at 17.
There wasn’t much stoppage and it was a high work rate all around,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Daniel Yarusso. “We had a couple of defensive breakdowns, but I am not going to take away from their performance. We’ll have to put that result behind us.”
It was a good start for the hometown Hawks as they scored early in the game. Chris Curcio crossed the line giving his team a 5 – 0 lead. The advantage grew to 12 – 0 as Liam McGowan put down the next try. Saint Joe’s appeared to be in control at they dominated the ball, but a Wisconsin try with the clock at zero before halftime brought the Red and White to within a score at intermission.
“I thought was came out pretty strong,” Yarusso said. “We got down the field and got the first try, an excellent start for us.”
Wisconsin got the first try of the second half, then Mickey Chapple untied it with a score. Saint Joseph’s kept the ball, but lost it late. The Badgers got a try with no time remaining knotting the game at 17. They could have won it, but the conversion was wide.
“We couldn’t hang on at the end, but give credit to Wisconsin,” said Yarusso.
Saint Joseph’s would not have time to dwell as they would face defending national champion Lindenwood in the next pool play match. The Hawks had their best finish in this tournament last year, and are facing good competition.
“Having Lindenwood is a tough obstacle to overcome, but rugby is getting better and better,” the Hawks coach said. “You have to be at your best every game.”
The Hawks are playing one man down as they lost freshman Mark Dombrowski who tragically died in an apparent fall while the team was on tour in Bermuda. The team honored his memory by wearing number 15 on their practice jersey. He is very much a part of the team.
Written By: Glenn Papazian