CHESTER, PA. 6/1/2019 – The Saint Joseph’s Hawks were looking for a chance to play for the Cup at the 2019 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships. The hopes are still alive, but a loss in their first game in pool play hurts those chances as they lose 19 – 12 to the Gaels of St. Mary’s.
It was a back and forth game. St. Mary’s got the first try and conversion to lead 7 – 0. It forced Saint Joe’s to play uphill.
“It did, but I felt pretty confident in our guy’s ability to stay in the game,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Dan Yarusso. “We didn’t want to start the game that way, but I’m happy about the way we battled back and kept it close. The result didn’t go our way at the end.”
The Hawks came back taking the Kesh Express to the try line. Aram Keshgegian scored, but the Gaels came right back with a try and conversion. Saint Joe’s battled back again as Matt Lydon posted a try and a conversion. St. Mary’s led 14 – 12 at halftime.
The Hawks looked like they were ready to cross the line in the second half, but a costly turnover gave the ball back to the Gaels. It blunted the SJU momentum.
“We had a couple of missed opportunities on our part, and if we seize those opportunities, it’s a completely different game,” Yarusso said.
St. Mary’s capitalized and got the final try and takes the victory.
Saint Joseph’s plays their second of three games on Saturday meeting Arizona in a critical match for the team’s chances to advance to the Cup Round.
Written By: Glenn Papazian