Virginia Rugby Football Clubs

Virginia Rugby Football Clubs

VRFC vs. Blackwater

by Michael Boyer

Virginia Rugby Football Club vs. Blackwater Rugby Football Club

1:00 PM, Saturday, November 11th, 2010

Lynchburg, VA

After only scoring seven points in the first half against Blackwater, Virginia came to life, adding 45 more points to earn a 52-0 victory. Another undefeated fall season gives Virginia its fifth straight VRU Division III championship and the number one seed in the MARFU playoffs in the spring.

Since the game pitted the only undefeated team in the VRU against the only winless team, Virginia expected the match to be a blowout from the start. Virginia certainly did a lot of things right in the opening period: keeping the ball in the Blackwater side of the field the vast majority of the half, dominating the scrums and rucks, and tackling consistently. Despite the positives, however, there were too many knock-ons, silly penalties, and poorly placed kicks, and Virginia struggled to score. Virginia's only try in the first half came after flanker Christian Wakeman and fly half James Fealey combined to draw a penalty five meters from the Blackwater goal-line. Virginia elected to scrum, and the Virginia forwards drove Blackwater back into the try zone, where eight man Brad Whiteman downed the ball under the posts. Fealey converted for a 7-0 half-time lead.

After a pep talk from Fealey and coach Tom Oxenham, Virginia exploded out of the gates to start the second half, scoring six tries in a span of 22 minutes. Blackwater's opening kickoff went into touch, and Virginia elected for a scrum at midfield. The ball made its way to the right touch-line, through the hands of scrum half Todd Applebaum, Fealey, fullback Evan Davis, and wing Lucien Dimani. Virginia then switched the field, with Davis, Applebaum, Fealey, and center Sean Mackintosh combining to find center Sebastien Fezas, who broke through the Blackwater defense to score. Four minutes later, a Fezas kick gave Blackwater a lineout only five meters from their own goal-line. Flanker Matt Pawlowicz stole the ball for Virginia, and the ball made its way to hooker Luis Lucas for a diving try. Three minutes after that, another Fezas kick led to another Blackwater lineout stolen by Pawlowicz. Lock Matt Burkett crashed through the defense and popped back to Pawlowicz, who dove through a tackle to score under the posts. Four minutes later, Davis tackled a Blackwater player and Pawlowicz immediately stole the ball. Virginia switched fields, where Fealey found himself isolated and decided to chip over the defensive line. After collecting his own kick, he found Applebaum streaking down the touch-line to score. Six minutes after that try, flanker Michael Bischoff broke from the Virginia half and passed to lock Aaron Franke, who swung the ball out to lock Ryan Pruitt. Pruitt beat a defender to score in the corner. Four minutes later, Fealey kicked the ball deep into Blackwater territory. Davis and wing Pete Alonzi gave chase and tackled the isolated Blackwater ball carrier. Alonzi attempted to steal the ball and forced Blackwater to concede a penalty, which Davis took quickly to dive for a try. In barely more than twenty minutes, this flurry of tries had transformed the match from a relatively close 7-0 battle into a 45-0 blowout.

Ten minutes from the end of the match, Blackwater had its only real scoring opportunity after being awarded a penalty deep in Virginia territory. An intense goal-line stand preserved the shutout for Virginia. Right before full time, Virginia tacked on one final try and broke the 50-point barrier when Davis broke from the Virginia half to score a long solo try. Fealey's sixth conversion brought the final score to 52-0.

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