The USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate All Americans completed the sweep against visiting Cambridge University on Wednesday June 25th, adding a 22-12 win to the 27-15 win a few days earlier.
The game was played at Pine Banks in Malden, MA, a late switch from the planned location at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, MA.
The game was barely five minutes old when Cambridge winger Paul Loudon latched onto a cross field kick to score in the corner for a five point lead.
The MCAA’s scrumhalf Madison Hughes reduced the arrears with a penalty kick a few minutes later. Mid way through the half, Hughes was instrumental in the first try for the home side, breaking down the blind side from a scrum before feeding Kingsley McGowan who took the ball in to put the MCAA’s in the lead. Hughes converted and despite enterprising play from both sides, the half ended with no more scoring and the MCAA’s ahead 10-5.
Early in the second half had Cambridge taking advantage of a strengthening breeze to pressure the MCAA goal line, but a knock on over the line and a couple of missed penalty attempts kept the score-line the same. Shortly after this period of pressure, a nice passing movement between Hughes, flanker Vili Toluta’u and winger Chris Turori ended with Toluta’u scoring to push the score to 15-5.
With about half an hour gone in the second, the MCAA”s had another try in the corner, McGowan and number 8 Shaun Potgieter linking up for the score. After a long delay for a leg injury to Connor Cook of Arkansas State, Cambridge finally received some reward for their efforts, with winger Paul Lodon getting his second score. Fraser Gillies converted to leave the final score at 22-12.
After the game, MCAA Coach Matt Sherman commented “The performance was better than in the fist game. But we knew we needed a better performance, as we knew they were both rested and improved from the first game. The boys dug deep from the well and it was a gutsy win”.
When pushed, Sherman mentioned “he front row did a good job, we had them in there for 50 minutes and they stepped up. Mike Lawrenson also was phenomenal, defensively, in the lineout and he had some good carries. Kaleikaumaka Konrad had a nice kicking game and kept the game flowing”.
Next up for the All Americans is the final game of the Summer tour, against Ontario Blues, scheduled for the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, Saturday June 28th at 2.30.