St. Bonaventure Rugby Comeback Earns Win Against Wheeling Jesuit

St. Bonaventure Rugby Comeback Against Wheeling Jesuit Claims Win

By Doug Coil

St. Bonaventure Rugby Club thrilled their homecoming crowd with a  30-24 win over Wheeling Jesuit University in a D1A Rugby East match.

The Bonnies entered the match with a 1-2 record, after a 32-7 non-conference win over New England College to begin their season. They then lost to Rugby East powerhouses Kutztown 69-17, after keeping the match close, 21-17 at halftime. Penn State was next and the result was similar, a 61-23 loss.

Wheeling Jesuit opened their season two weeks ago against Army, losing 57-20. After the loss to St. Bonaventure, their record drops to 0-2. Wheeling Jesuit will host Buffalo on Oct. 7 with the kickoff at 6pm.

St. Bonaventure Rugby moves to 1-2 in the Rugby East and 2-2 overall with the win over Wheeling Jesuit. They travel to face the ninth ranked Army West Point team on October 7 with the kickoff at 1pm.

St. Bonaventure vs. Wheeling Jesuit

The first score of the match went to Wheeling Jesuit after 15 minutes. St. Bonaventure had attacked deep into Wheeling Jesuit territory, however a turnover resulted in a Wheeling Jesuit try by Alston Burton in the corner. After the conversion by George Roscoe, the score was 7-0.

Eight minutes later, St. Bonaventure had a chance to get on the board, but Josh Smith missed the penalty kick. Several minutes later, he was successful with a kick to narrow the score to 7-3. The Bonnies then took a 10-7 lead as Christopher Artuso found a seam in the defense and offloaded to Colin Sustersic for a try and a Josh Smith conversion. Smith added a second penalty kick prior to the break, increasing the Bonnies lead to 13-7.

Wheeling Jesuit had a fast start to begin the second half with the forwards Jeremy Kirk punching in a try and after the conversion by Roscoe, took a 14-13 lead. Wheeling Jesuit would add two more tries by Alston Burton and Andrew Waggonerfor a 24-13 lead before Pat McCormack narrowed the score to 24-18 with a try for the Bonnies.

The Bonnies continued their late comeback with North Westall scoring a try and it was a one point deficit with eight minutes remaining. In the 76th minute that would change, when Francisco Herenu weaved his way around defenders for a try. Joshua Smith then converted for a 30-24 lead.

That’s the way the match would end, with the Bonnies claiming a 30-24 win over Wheeling Jesuit in a D1A Rugby East match.

St. Bonaventure: 1 Kyle Ciquera 2 Christopher Starkweather 3 North Westall 4 Francisco Herenu 5 Patrick McCormack 6 Matthew Williams 7 Jaret Williamson 8 Colin Sustersic 9 Eamonn Matthews (C) 10 Christian Artuso (VC) 11 Luke Vakasisikakala 12 Ryan McGovern 13 Joe Hawthorne 14 Nick Dillon 15 Joshua Smith 16 John LaDuca 17 Evan Titus 18 Tristan Ulrop 19 Jack Wiles 20 Tyler Veno 21 Christopher Bortuzzo 22 Tom Anderson 23 Charles Schwenk

Wheeling Jesuit: 1Troy Kelly 2 Daniel Carter 3 Frank Wolf 4 Leuan Nation 5 Cody Gulasey 6 Jeremy Kirk 7 Anthony Waggoner 8 Inosi Kau 9 Ryan Graggs 10 George Roscoe 11 Trey Clarke 12 Joli Vakasisikakala 13 Carter Landry 14 Alston Burton 15 Alex Holden 16 Danta Petrella 17 Matthew Woisnet 18 Matt Martin 19 Killan Gause 20 Zackary Ahlin 21 Connelly Mitchell 22 Joseph Broderick 23 Nick Vento

St. Bonaventure Men’s Rugby Previous Rugby East Recaps

St. Bonaventure vs Kutztown Recap (Sep.16)

Against 12th ranked Kutztown, freshman center Joe Hawthorne scored his first collegiate try, junior Kyle Ciquera followed from in close and North Westall added a try from a lineout, with Christian Artusa converting. That was all the the Bonnies would score that day, as the second half was all Kutztown.

St. Bonaventure vs Penn State Recap (Sep. 23)

The Bonnies played the 8th ranked Penn State at home during the University’s family weekend at Marra Athletic Complex. After marching down the pitch near Penn State’s try line, sophomore captain Christian Artuso slotted a penalty kick for a 3-0 lead. Penn State then scored a try by Brian Stella before St. Bonaventure added a second penalty kick by Artuso for a 6-5 lead.

Penn State took control of the game from there, but Freshman Chris Starkweather punched in his first collegiate try for the Bonnies with four minutes remaining before the break. At halftime Penn State led 31-11.

The final score was 61-23 to Penn State. The Bonnies added two tries in the second half from fresshmen Joe Hawthorne and Colin Sustersic.

St. Bonaventure Head Coach Tui Osborne

“Despite our two losses to very good teams, we are improving in certain areas and looking to execute better and eliminate our errors. Wheeling Jesuit, historically are a very good side and there is no doubt they will come out play this Saturday. We are looking forward to the challenge and putting on a better performance for our fans here at home.”

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