Kutztown University almost pulled off a shocker this past weekend, losing to NYAC 32-31 in a friendly with the Super League team.
This was not NYAC’s full Super League side. Several high-profile players did not play, and this being a friendly where NYAC is looking to recruit KU grads to their club, perhaps the hits weren’t the hardest they could have been, but still Winged Foot was impressed with the Bears.
“Compared to all the teams we’ve played this fall, KU was a pretty decent team,” said NYAC coach Fiori Screnci. “They had a good pack – a nice heavy group of forwards, in good shape. They were good tacklers and had a really good link at 10 and 12. I was impressed.”
NYAC led 22-17 at halftime and ran out to a 32-17 lead with about seven minutes to go. That’s when KU roared back with two tries, including a slightly disputed intercept from Bruce Dolan.
“It was good for our guys to play a little smashmouth rugby,” said KU coach Paul Presinzano. “Their backline is a bit stronger than ours and they controlled the ball well. We scored more out of open play and loose play. But I think Kutztown adjusted well to a team with a lot of skill.”
Screnci didn’t do into too much detail about how strong his NYAC lineup was, but he did say he felt his squad “probably underestimated them a little bit.”
Both coaches were effusive about Kutztown’s commitment to the tackle, led by Matt Hartwell and Matt Frederick.
In the end, it was another successful club-v-college game for NYAC, which makes a habit of these matches as recruiting vehicles.
Tries: Gibbs 2, Daniel, Fiffe, White
Convs: Johnson 2
Tries: Lorenz 2, Dolan, Hartwell
Convs: Acker 4