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Boys Varsity Rugby Falls in State Final, Lands #2 in NY State & 41st in USA

(PHOTO: Rye Boys Rugby at Siena College after the state championship game.)

Rye Boys Varsity Rugby fell to Xavier High School 17-21 on Sunday in the Rugby NY Division 1 State Final at Siena College, landing as the number two team in all of New York State and number 41 across the United States.

“After a slow start in the first half, the Garnets turned things around and upped the intensity in the second half,” said Rye Boys Varsity Rugby Coach Jim O’Hara. “The score of the game came from a series of plays that spanned the length of the field.

“It all started with Sophomore Owen Welburn stealing a ball near the goal line off of the Xavier Outside Center,” continued O’Hara. “Senior Bernie Costello picked the ball up and marched up field, crossing the halfway mark before being tackled. After a quick ruck from the Rye forwards, Freshman Archer Fenton whipped the ball out to Junior Gio Cavatoni, who passed to sophomore Jack Acciavatti, who then offloaded to Senior Fullback Ryan Wyckoff. Wyckoff deftly drew in the defense and passed to Junior Winger Owen Simmons who broke two tackles and threw a one-handed pass to Fenton who sprinted in for the try.

“It was the score of the year for the Garnets, and also sparked a comeback that fell just short in the end against the #7 team in the Nation and perennial New York powerhouse.”

(PHOTO: Rye Boys Rugby vs. Xavier High School in the state championship game.)

Xavier got off to a fast start, but Rye mounted a comeback in the second half. Xavier scored all their points in the first fifteen minutes, and Rye defended brilliantly to keep Xavier scoreless in the second half.

After an early penalty kick from flanker Yves Briginshaw, Rye punched in two tries narrowing the lead to just 4 in the final minutes. Rye used their fitness and ball skills to wear down Xavier in the closing minutes, threatening to score until the final whistle blew. It was an entertaining and competitive final for all in attendance, ending at a score of Xavier 21 – Rye 17 and lots of mutual respect between the two teams.

The Garnets wrap up their season with a 6-2 record.

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