USA Rugby Elite Cup Championship
The Chicago Lions, 5-1 in the Midwest Rugby Union Premiership, hosted 6-0 American Rugby Premiership Old Blue of New York at Hope Field in Chicago on Saturday, October 27. Old Blue raced to a 33-3 lead at the break and withstood a second half surge by the Lions to win the USA Rugby Elite Cup Championship 38-29.
The Chicago Lions got on the board in the first minute after Harrison Deck slotted a penalty kick for a 3-0 lead. After that the first half scoring went to Old Blue. Fullback Luke Hume scored back to back tries and looked to score a third, but fellow Eagle Dylan Fawsitt bulled his way in instead. Connor Wallace-Sims then scored from an overload and Fawsitt added a fifth Old Blue try from a maul off a lineout for a 33-3 lead at the break.
The Chicago Lions made second half adjustments and moved the ball wide to Jack Casey from a 5-meter scrum for a try in the corner to cut the lead to 33-10. Old Blue answered back with a try by Eagle Anthony Purpura for a 38-10 lead.
Dominique Bailey then scored for the Lions four minutes later to cut the lead to 38-17. Old Blue’s Derek Lipscomb was yellow carded in the 68 minute and the Lions were able to take advantage with two Brian Rooney tries to finish short, 38-29.
The Lions exhibited heart and determination in clawing it’s way back into the match after an overwhelming halftime lead by Old Blue. After the match, the Lions Dom Bailey was named Lions Man of the match.
Old Blue earned the Elite Cup Championship to go with going undefeated and winning the American Rugby Premiership this season. The team benefited from having access to their three Eagles for the match ahead of the Rugby Weekend in Chicago on November 3.
USA Rugby Elite Rugby Cup Squads
Chicago Lions: 1 Frederik De Beer 2 Kevin Lydon 3 Hugh MacLellan 4 Micheal Ziegler 5 Sean Mahon 6 Dominique Bailey 7 H Paul Westin 8 Andrew Rose 9 Johan Van Zyl 10 Alexander Dorrier 11 Jack Casey 12 Michael Houston 13 Gerog Niehaus 14 Jacob Hidalgo 15 Harrison Deck 16 James Hilterbrand 17 Jeffery Steele 18 Philip Spagnolo 19 Zibl Pawlowski 20 Scott Weber 21 Spencer Cameron 22 Daniel Coci 23 Brian Rooney
Old Blue: 1 Jamai Hadley 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Anthony Purpura 4 Trevor Cassidy 5 Bobby McMahon 6 Jovanny Perez 7 Gavan D’Amore-Morrison 8 Alex Schwarz 9 Blane McIlroy 10 Connor Wallace-Sims 11 Najee Bissoon 12 Ratu Tagive 13 Erik Tack 14 Derek Lipscomb 15 Luke Hume 16 James Sheridan 17 Francis Dougherty 18 Oisin O’Neill 19 Philip Salter 20 David Shotton 21 Randolph Porter 22 John jackson 23 Koto Fujimura