Army West Point Men’s Rugby Runs Past Delaware

October 1, 2016

Army West Point Men’s Rugby Runs Past Delaware

Logos: University of Delaware Rugby and Army West Point Black Knights

Doug Coil

The University of Delaware hosted the Army West Point Men’s Rugby team at Alapocas Run State Park in Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday. Army took controlled the match and left with a 81-5 victory. With the win Army improved to 6-0 record, 5-0 in Rugby East and are in first place in the league.

Delaware has a young team, and is 0-4, 0-3 in the league. Matches against college rugby powers like Army should help Delaware to build the program in the years to come and return to prominence.

Next week Army will face Penn State at the Anderson Rugby Complex at West Point. This will be followed by an away trip to Wheeling Jesuit and then they entertain Kutztown at home in matches that will decide who wins the Rugby East. Army then ends their season at home against the Air Force Academy on November 4th.

Next week Delaware travels to face the University of Buffalo, followed by a bye week and then plays three consecutive home matches against Kutztown, St. Bonaventure and Wheeling Jesuit before ending their season away against West Virginia.

Match Recap

It took less than two minutes for Army to take a lead, one that they would not relinquish the entire match. Jake Lachina scored in the corner and Jon Kim converted. Two minutes later, Kim executed a chip kick and Lachina picked and went in for his second try and a 12-0 lead.

Army increased thier lead to 19-0 after they won a lineout and mauled their way for 20 meters with Bailey Abercrombie touching down for his first of his three tries that he would have in the match. Army was on a roll and Lachina drew in a defender and offloaded to Jeff Malm-Annan for a try. Jon Kim, like the previous try, then converted for a 26-0 lead. (13′)

Delaware then showed some offense attacking inside Army’s 22 meters. Delaware went through six phases with Army defending well before a knock on stopped their momentum.

After a kick by Army that was fielded by Delaware fullback Ech, a late hit enabled Delaware to kick for territory and then attack for another six phases before  a penalty at the breakdown turned the ball over.

Army then reset and a John Royston offload to Sean Berry resulted in try and with Kim’s conversion the score was 33-0.

With some back and forth action for thirteen minutes, Andy Sullivan took an offload from Jeff Malm-Annan in for a try and a 38-0 lead. That would be how it would be a halftime.

Early in the second half, Army utilized some excellent passing which resulted in a second try for Jeff Malm-Annan and Kim converted for a 45-0 lead. Ben Lemon added another from an eight-man pick and the lead after Kim’s conversion was 52-0. Mitchell Sanderson then went in for a try for a 57-0 lead.

Delaware then attacked deep into Army territory and controlled the ball for several minutes. Army’s Ben Lemon was sent to the bin after a tip tackle and then after six phases, MJ Stovall found a crease and went in for Delaware’s lone try of the day. Delaware’s coverage defense also had improved during the second half.

Soon after Delaware’s try, both sides then substituted a number of players. Zach Allen had a good break on the restart for Delaware, but Army soon had a turnover. Back and forth play continued for over ten minutes until Army added another four tries.

At seventy minutes Bailey Abercrombie added his second try, while Harrison Farrell conversion attempt went wide right. Two minutes later, Andy Sullivan had a try and Farrell converted for a 69-5 lead. Eli Brown then scored from a breakdown, with the conversion wide right. The final try of the match resulted in a hat trick for Abercrombie. Farrell slotted the conversion and Army walked off with a 81-5 win.

Head Coach Comments

Both coaches candidly described their team’s performance along with other observations. This is appreciated.

Matt Sherman, Army Head Coach, indicated that “I was happy with our play. We were trying to raise our game. You do that with pretty good precision considering the weather, with good intensity and good tempo, so absolutely we are consistent with ourselves. Eighty percent of the time we’re really sharp and twenty percent we were a bit off.”

Army will now play Penn State, Wheeling Jesuit and Kutztown in succession. All three teams are currently undefeated in Rugby East play. I asked Matt if the lineup changes during the first six matches have helped the team prepare for the impending matches? In paraphrasing Matt, he indicated the we are always going to have some attrition in the sport of rugby. With fifteen men playing significant time and then having eight coming on as reserves, we need depth. More importantly for us, guys are pushing each other to get a starting position and jersey. It is a highly competitive environment.

Struan Murray, Delaware Head Coach, described his team’s play saying “two weeks in a row, first with Penn State you get an idea what it’s like and then with Army what it’s going to be like before they get here. I thought the first half we played poorly. They dominated. I thought in the second half, the guys tried to do little things. Even though it’s not happening all the time and we’re taking heavy losses, for three to five minutes at a time we are starting to put together the things that we’re working on during the week. The younger guys are linking with the older guys and they are saying to the younger guys it will be your team.”

Murray added when considering the season the team would face that “You know what to expect from the start. You know that you will take some heavy losses, all to very good teams. We haven’t taken a heavy loss against bad teams. All losses are from teams that played better on the day, like Rutgers, or were physical, highly skilled or both. You can see us learning little bits.”

“You look for a tough schedule when you start off. It doesn’t get any easier with a road trip up to Buffalo, but the best thing you can definitively see is one guy or a couple of guys every week playing hard for 80 minutes that hadn’t had so much A side time and that’s a positive. Now you know you can use them and now you know they want to be part of it and that’s all you can ask for.”

“I don’t think there was any quit today. Army is a juggernaut. You need to find a way of stopping them. Then they reset and do so again. We can hold them out for five minutes and then you know it’s coming.”

Delaware Squad: 1 Ian Menagers 2 Dylan Duffy 3 Nick Lintner 4 Joost Elling 5 Matthew Hess (c) 6 Joe Osinubi 7 Adam Desch 8 Will Baker 9 Adrian Reyes 10 Tom Abram 11 Zach Allen 12 John McCurdy (c) 13 Matthew Ramierez 14 Henry Carr 15 Joe Ech 16 Stefan Losten 17 Jared Wilkins 18 Joe Lee 19 Karl Malate 20 MJ Stovell 21 Hunter Hastings 22 Nadeem Fazal

Army Squad: 1: Connor Parker 2: Ryan Moshak 3: Adam Szott 4: Sean Berry 5: Mitchell Sanderson 6: Bailey Abercrombie 7: Alec Smith 8: Ben Lemon 9: John Royston 10: Jon Kim 11: Andy Sullivan 12: Luke Heun (Captain) 13: Jeff Malm-Annan 14: Nathan Williams 15: Jake Lachina 16: Jareth Long-Garrett 17: Ben Vasta 18: Eli Brown 19: Rob Niscior 20: Raaqim Rispress 21: Harrison Farrell 22: Michael McTiernan 23: Sam Sutera

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