Artilce by John Nalls
Gonzaga Rugby capped off an undefeated regular season with their sixth Metro Area Varsity Rugby (MAVRC) Championship in defeating Georgetown Prep by a score of 60-7 on Friday, May 9. This was the second time that Gonzaga had faced the Little Hoyas in as many weeks on a beautiful night, and the Eagles left little doubt as to their dominance of the local rugby scene. Showing an incredibly balanced and potent attack, 10 different players scored trys and two different players conversions for the champs.
Gonzaga started off somewhat slowly as a number of early penalty calls interrupted the flow of the match and stymied several scoring opportunities. The purple side soon began to dominate in all phases, however, and broke through with a try by senior Lock Liam D’Arcy following a scrum, which was then converted by senior captain and All American Fly Half Ben Cima for a 7-0 lead. This loosened things up and very soon thereafter senior captain and 8-Man Charlie DePont broke off the scrum and touched one down for a 12-0 advantage when the conversion on a tough kicking day missed the mark.
The pack continued to dominate loose play and senior Hooker Tommy Rippert was the next to find the try zone with a nice breakaway to increase the margin to 17-0. The back line then got rolling and Junior Inside Center Rashan Jones made a line break and took it to the house from about 30 meters out for a 24-0 lead after Cima’s conversion kick was true. Junior Wing Reggie Corbin then closed out the first half scoring for the Eagles with a spectacular run across the pitch, juking several defenders in the process, for a 29-0 advantage. Trying to inject some life into a match that was slowly getting away from them, Prep was able to score just before the intermission on a well executed kick and chase by their fullback to cut the deficit to 29-7 and possibly provide the Hoyas a bit of momentum for the second set.
Any thoughts of a comeback were quickly extinguished in the second half as the Gonzaga pack continued to dominate play and field position until Junior Prop and All-American Jack Iscaro got into the back line and scored on a nice hands out to increase the margin to 34-7. The front 8 continued to assert themselves and fellow Prop and Junior Jack Carroll bulled through about 5 defenders to cross the try line and increase the score to 41-7 after Cima’s conversion split the uprights. Senior Fullback Stephen Beckerly then broke through on a nice counter attack to get into the try zone to make it 48-7 after senior captain and Scrum Half Jimmy Ronan took over the kicking duties and nailed the conversion. The back line then began to take advantage and senior Outside Center Michael Barry, after a line break and a great fake pass, took it in himself to touch one down for a 53-7 lead. The only thing in doubt by this time was the final score and that was decided when Senior Wing Patrick St. Pierre scored from 40 meters out after a nice cut and the 60-7 final margin after another Ronan conversion.
Having established their dominance in the Mid Atlantic Region, the Eagles have little time to rest on their laurels as they will travel to Elkhart, Indiana on Wednesday to compete as the No. 2 seed in the Boys National Invitational Rugby Championships. Gonzaga willface the best the nation has to offer on May 15 through the 17th for a chance at a national championship.