CHESTER, PA 6/1/2019 – The Temple Owls completed pool play on Saturday at the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships at Talen Energy Stadium. The Owls finished the day without a win, losing the third game in heartbreaking fashion to Clemson. Still, it is important for the program to be here.
“It shows we can compete at a national level since you have the top programs here,” said Temple Coach John Sciotto. “To show what we can do against them is a great opportunity for us and what we are trying to build.”
The day started with a loss to Lindenwood by a 38 – 0 score. In the second game agaisnt Virginia Tech the Owls scored a try by Tim Groff in the second half. Adam Shapiro added the conversion. The final score was 33 – 7.
“It was a great lift because we finally got to play a little bit of offense,” said Sciott. “We played about 15 minutes of defense out there. Being able to show we can play offense was rewarding.”
The momentum carried over for the Cherry and White who played Clemson eye to eye. The Owls took a 12 – 7 lead with just over a minute to play in the first half on a try by Carson Delaney. The Tigers answered back with a score of their own with no time on the clock for a 14 – 7 lead at intermission. Trailing 19 – 12 Temple tied the game on a try by Jerry Rosser and a conversion Adam Shapiro.
The clock showed zeroes, but the Owls had the ball and looked to be in position for the deciding try. A costly turnover gave the ball back to Clemson and Jack Desmond ran it down the field and across the line. The Owls lost in heartbreaking fashion 26 – 19.
“Getting off on the front foot and being able to attack is when we are most successful,” said Sciotto.
The Owls have more rugby to play this weekend. Whether they play for the Bowl or the Plate has yet to be determined. Temple will stay determined, and with that the team will be better.
“We are showing the skill and resourcefulness when things are going against us,” Sciotto said. “They fight through it stronger than we used to early in the season.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian