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Two More Close Games Highlight Chesapeake Parity

September 23,2018 21:26

The Chesapeake Conference's reputation as the college rugby conference with the most parity is richly deserved, and that reputation got another boost this weekend. Two of the three games were decided by less than a try, with Mount St. Mary's holding ...


The Chesapeake Conference's reputation as the college rugby conference with the most parity is richly deserved, and that reputation got another boost this weekend.
Two of the three games were decided by less than a try, with Mount St. Mary's holding off Maryland 46-41, and Towson upsetting James Madison 25-24. Even the supposed blowout of the weekend wasn't anything of the sort, with Virginia Tech's 33-12 win over Salisbury certainly competitive.
"There is a lot of parity in this conference," said Towson head coach Tony de Cesare. "Every game seems close, for us at least. We lost to Virginia Tech 22-5 but even in that game it was 12-5 until we got a yellow card. Because the teams are so close, getting a card and playing 14 on 15 - you're done, really."
Coming into this week's game with the highly-regarded JMU, the Tigers were limping a little after a win against Georgetown. With some players playing out of position, and de Cesare knowing that JMU would punish mistakes out wide, the coach put the fortunes of the team on his forwards.

"I knew we needed to control field position and keep the ball as much as we could," said de Cesare. "I told the forwards, we need you to do this. We put it on them and they produced. All eight of our forwards played all 80 minutes. We were doing so well I didn't see a need to change."
Led by a front row that is over 725 pounds in total - Ben Webber, Colin Stiller, and Ncholas Auvil - and with locks Johnathan Kolp and Andrew Hicks working closely with the back row of Zack El-Dahabi, Max Burgos, and Chris Young, Towson ran a conservative attack that dominated possession. Having former Naval Academy head coach Mike Flanagan in coaching the pack for the week didn't hurt, either.
The Towson scrum won all scrums (offense and defense) save for three.
"The key was not to deviate from the plan, and they stayed with it," said de Cesare. "Our fitness and our game prep. It was a good day to be a Tiger."
Mount St. Mary's won also, in a game where the Mount started poorly and ended poorly (or maybe Maryland started and ended well). Whatever the assessment, the middle was all MSM, with 11 freshmen starting the game.
"They are starting to learn to play together," said head coach Jay Myles. "It's exciting to see them young players develop."
Maryland scored two early tries, but the Mount replied and led by as much as 43-22. Maryland responded, scoring three tries in the final 15 minutes, compared to a Mount St. Mary's penalty. That was enough. 46-41 the Mount.
Freshman prop Jack Huscher, a product of the St. Augustine program in Rugby New Jersey, started his first match and was hugely influential. 
Virginia Tech, meanwhile, did well to beat Salisbury by 21, and the Hokies join the Mount at 2-0. Everyone is looking at defending national champion Mary Washington, who almost beat Navy in a non-conference match. UMW is the only one not really involved in the close games. Everyone else is on any-given-Saturday mode.
This season, three of the eight Chesapeake games have been decided by a try or less. Last season, a quarter of the games ended that way. That is far and away the largest percentage of close games in any conference.
Chesapeake Conf.
W
L
T
PF
PA
PD
BT
BL
Pts
Mount St. Mary's
2
0
0
79
41
38
2
0
10
Virginia Tech
2
0
0
55
17
38
2
0
10
Towson
2
1
0
64
60
4
2
0
10
Mary Washington
1
0
0
66
7
59
1
0
5
Salisbury
1
2
0
36
111
-75
0
0
4
Maryland
0
2
0
53
63
-10
1
2
3
James Madison
0
1
0
24
25
-1
1
1
2
Georgetown
0
2
0
14
67
-53
0
0
0

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