The top four teams in the Mid-Atlantic DI league played each other this weekend, with one team emerging as the best in the league, and another moving into a share of first place.
Potomac Athletic Club, 2-0, manhandled previously undefeated Norfolk 39-8 in a display that put the rest of the league on notice.
"They've been putting up some big scores, so to hold them to eight points was a big deal," said PAC Director of Rugby and prop Brian Olmes of his side's 39-8 victory. "We were really happy about the defensive effort. I think everyone wanted to make a defensive stand."
PAC, now 3-0, has given up 13 points in those three matches. Norfolk dropped to 4-1, and retained a share of first place because PAC hasn't played as many matches.
Norfolk Head Coach Chris Porter said he knew going in that PAC's strong group of forwards would cause problems, and was drilling the club hard in the set piece and in the rucks.
"We feel if we can do both of these well then it will open up our game plan and make things easier for our backs and loose forwards to attack," he said. It wasn't to be.
The Blues share first with the Pittsburgh Harlequins, who pulled out a tight 22-21 victory over Media. Media had all sorts of trouble containing center Luke Titus, and eventually did so. But leading 21-15 with no time left, Pittsburgh ran a misdirection play off a scrum and sent Titus in under the posts for the try to make it 21-20. The conversion won the game for the Harlequins.
Media was stung by a controversial call in the first half, when they claimed to have grounded a ball in-goal that was given as a try for Pittsburgh. But in the end, they couldn't hold their lead.
Pittsburgh improved to 4-1, and is only behind Norfolk due to points difference. Media lost their second close match, and drop to 1-3.