October 2, 2016
Philadelphia-Whitemarsh Rugby Gains Win Against Brandywine
Photo: Philadelphia-Whitemarsh Rugby Club
Philadelphia-Whitemarsh Rugby Club Release: Kyle Antoian
Brandywine (0,1) at Philly-Whitemarsh (3,0) – October 2, 2016
Philly-Whitemarsh came into Week 4 with a 3-0 record. Last year, PW blanketed Brandywine 98-0. In Brandywine’s first match of the 2016 fall season, they fell to Lancaster 77-5. Without a doubt, these comparison stats were reassuring in the minds of the Philly boys. The match pitted a supremely confident squad that was borderline cocky, against a demoralized opponent that had won only four matches in the past two years. The diametric feelings of the two teams provided the perfect ingredients for a trap game that would be played under the gloomy rain clouds hovering over Philadelphia.
If PW thought this match was going to be a walk in Fairmount Park, they were proved dead wrong in the opening salvos. Philly got onto the front foot immediately with deep penetration into Brandywine’s red zone. However, Brandywine wasn’t playing to make up the numbers. They showed their pride and toughness by repelling assault after assault, and forcing PW to check themselves. Without a doubt, it was noted that this was not the same Brandywine of last year. Like boxers in a fight, the two teams traded blows with back line strikes and a forward ground game. After one sustained attack, PW got onto the board after Louis Tulio scored a diving try off of the ruck. Minutes later Eric Miller took a quick pass from field marshall and scrum-half Matt Geiger for 5 more. Although PW possessed the ball for the majority of the half, Brandywine made them fight for every single inch. It took cunning for Tulio to score his 2nd try after throwing a dummy to fool the defense. The half ended after Isaac Katz, who with quick thinking, took a quick tap off a penalty for the try. The move was made in respect for Brandywine’s defense, who shut down PW previously, when they tried to run a penalty play in the red zone.
1st Half: 22 – 0 Philly-Whitemarsh
Brandywine had reason to hope in the 2nd half. The game was still tight, and they had made several deep runs into PW territory. However, a crucial knock-on canceled one try, and several other mistakes prevented success. Both teams knew that whoever struck first would have the momentum. Fortunately for Philly-Whitemarsh, Miller’s number was called again, and he answered with a line breaking run that extended the lead. Due to the ferocity of the match, injuries started piling up as both teams subbed midway through the half. Colin Westman, a new PW player, immediately made an impact off the bench, when he took an excellent pass from Jim Champion and scored his first try. After his assist, Champion, an aptly named player, scored his own try after successfully executing a backline play in tandem with maestro Joe Baker. It wasn’t until the final minutes that future Man of the Match, Fraser Keil made his mark on the stat sheets. He scored 2 trys in quick succession from the wing by dipping and dodging defenders. Fraser’s consistent work ethic and effort for the full 80 minutes was testament to his athletic ability, as this match was his first of the season.
High margin scores are common in rugby and most of the time they accurately reflect the play of the match. However, this shutout was not the case. Brandywine truly pushed PW, and made them earn their victory. The two sides will meet again in the spring, and it should go without question that PW’s pre-game mentality will be different that time.
Final Score: 55 – 0 Philly-Whitemarsh
PW Try Scorers: Tulio 2, Miller 2, Keil 2, Katz 1, Westman 1, Champion 1,
Conversions: Baker 4/8, Dunbar 1/1
Penalty Kicks: Baker 0/0
Man of the Match: Fraser Keil