In their third match of the Metro Area Varsity Rugby Conference (MAVRC) season Perry Street Prep (Pride Rugby) traveled to the Landon School in Bethesda, MD.
Landon School is a local and regional lacrosse powerhouse whose coach is Rob Bordley, former USA Eagle flyhalf (1975, 1978-79). Their rugby team’s 2nd year Head Coach is Brittany Martin, a member of the Washington Furries.
As the game kicked off, it quickly became obvious the Prides plan of attack was much different than the previous week’s successful pick-and-go strategy against an athletic Coolidge side. The Prides Coach Bayer opted to utilize his backs in first phase “to try to develop some chemistry in their reconstituted backline.” These efforts paid off within minutes as sophomore flyhalf Jihad Khabir ran a dummy switch and put hard-charging outside center John Murray through the gap.
The next 30 minutes saw much of the same as Khabir went on to notch three tries of his own and was instrumental in setting up tries with an assortment of his backs. As the points began to pile up, the Pride began to relax and got a little careless. Landon pounced and finally seemed to get some momentum going. They were rewarded for their efforts with hard earned try to close out the half 44-7 in favor of the Pride.
The game became a tale of two halves as a newly emboldened Landon side settled down and began to string together some nice phases. The Pride defense scrambled to defend the fringes and occasionally they bent but refused to break. Landon’s only score of the 2nd half came from an overthrow on a lineout. Despite that throw being secured by a Pride flanker, he unfortunately telegraphed his pass to an advancing Landon defender. Timing it perfectly, the Landon player picked the pass at pace and ran the 50 meters to score emphatically under the post. Play continued fairly evenly until the Pride closed the scoring out 54-12.
Unfortunately the game ended on a scary note with the final kick off. In another perfectly timed moment, a Landon tackler made one of the biggest impact hits of the game that left both players laid out and down for the count. The Landon Athletic Trainer staff went into action immediately and once again demonstrated the importance of qualified medical staff at rugby games.
Following a long night at the hospital both players were cleared and released.
“As coaches do in any sport, we all dread when these moments of injury occur,” said Bayer. “I must commend the staff at Landon for their professionalism and concern not just their player but ours. I also want to thank and recognize the Landon parents for their support over the course of a trying evening.”
Next up for the Pride is an interstate matchup with Rugby Virginia powerhouse NOVA RFC on Saturday night 3/17. A highlight video of this match as well as the Landon game will be posted in the coming week.