The Pride of Perry Street Prep went on the road again to finish off what was a busy week of rugby. On Tuesday, the Pride’s 7-10th grade squad traveled to Herndon to face off in a 45-5 win against NOVA’s 9-10th grade squad. On Thursday, the Pride hung 54 points to 12 on a determined Landon side. On Saturday night, the Pride travelled to Chantilly High School to face off against Interstate rival, NOVA RFC.
Both teams have continued to play each other despite the split of the Potomac Rugby Union(High School and U19) into various leagues and conferences (Rugby Virginia and the Metro Area Varsity Rugby Conference among them). According to the Pride’s Coach Bayer, “we love making the yearly trip to NOVA, the facilities are awesome, the teams enjoy playing each other and it is always good to get out of the city.” The quality of the facilities on Saturday night proved no different, despite the game being played in Chantilly High School Football Stadium rather than the usual location at the old Redskins Training Park.
From the opening kick off, it was evident the Pride were in for a much more physical encounter than the games they have played over the last month. NOVA was aggressive and physical in the tackle and rucks. The NOVA forwards showed some of the potential flaws in the Prides game by aggressive counter-rucking, dominant scrummaging and tight smashmouth rugby which the Pride struggled with in the early stages. “It was pretty obvious they(NOVA) came to play” and “we still have some things to work on with regard to forward play and defense” Bayer stated. “I guess the upside is as much as we physically took it on the chin, the players didn’t fold and we created some great opportunities out of eventual turnover ball.”
There were an assortment of tries for the evening, much of it the result of turnover in possession that was quickly reversed up-field. A highlight of this of was Inside Center, Adrian Price who got his lone try of the night. Aggressive defense from Pride scrumhalf, Justin Owens resulted in from stolen ball off the base of the scrum that was moved out to Price as he hit the gap at pace and scored under the post.
John Murray(Outside Center) had his best game of the season notching 4 tries over the course of the game. Several of the tries were impressive long range efforts, including one of the prettiest tries of the season. With minutes to go in the game, the Pride were deep in their end and decided to attack the weakside off of a ruck. Sophomore Flyhalf, Jihad Khabir showed his nifty kicking skills with chip over the head of his opposition. Murray raced ahead and caught the ball on the fly and evaded three defenders in the process and outpaced the last on his 65 meter race to the goal line. Final score Pride Rugby 34, NOVA RFC 5.
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