Dynamic, fluid, interchanging play between the forwards and back brings DC Elite Rugby to the top of the tables in New Jersey by outscoring opponents 136-17 and averaging over a point a minute. Their stifling defense forced errant passes, turnovers and penalties conceding only one try per match to yield the highest point differential in the age group.
DC Elite Rugby is an all star rugby team from Washington, DC and the surrounding suburbs in Maryland and Virginia coached by EIRA Mid-Atlantic head coach Jorge Molinari and forwards coaches Joe Freeman and Paolo Iscaro. This year's squad consisted of players graduating in 2019 and 2020 from Gonzaga (10), Georgetown Prep (8), Maryland Exiles (3) and Good Counsel (1) slotted to play in Rahway New Jersey. It included 6 players from last year's championship squad from the North Carolina RCT under a different team. That squad did not field a submission for New Jersey, so DC Elite Rugby was formed.
The team opened its campaign against Raliegh Redhawks who recently won both the JV and Freshmen brackets at Gonzaga's Jesuit Rugby tournament earlier this year. A 9am kick off led to a lethargic start but the halftime whistle blew and DC led 14-5 but were not sharp. With their legs now beneath them, DC came on strong in the second half and surged forward to a final score of 41-5.
The afternoon match was one of the more anticipated ties with DC facing Metro NY. NY's squad was well represented by Play Rugby New York and nationally ranked #7 Xavier. Other publications referenced their strong scrum half and fly half combination. DC was unphased by neither the terential rain nor the opposition though and ran roughshot over Metro NY. The boys ran out to a 14-0 lead by eleven minutes into the match and finished 47-7.
"Guys on this team know how to win big games for their varsity teams, so they understood what we expected from them...Their fluid play off one another demonstrated that experience and emphasized the point that many boys are able to play at a very high level in 3 or 4 positions. They were also very unselfish and willing to play in different positions than their preferred role in order to maximize the amount of talent on the field. It made coaching these guys easy.” commented Molinari.
Overnight updates in social media and other outlets pointed to other squads in the competition "leading the way" upsetting the team as they felt overlooked. The boys responded with a brutal match against Ohio Celtic. A quick start earned DC two tries inside of three minutes and a third try overturned by a knock-on in the try zone. DC was again playing their attractive fluid style, physical at the breakdown and punishing defense. It was 28-0 at halftime. DC rotated all of the players in to start the second half without any let up with the final score 48-5 and a 3-0 record upon conclusion for DC.
“These guys bleed rugby and are also true gentlemen," concluded Molinari. "They reflect great examples of Mid-Atlantic rugby on and off the field. We have a lot of talent on the east coast that gets overlooked sometimes and I hope we are changing things. I couldn’t be happier.”