MATCH REPORT: September 17, 2016 v. Pittsburgh Rugby Club (D3)
The Highlanders looked to continue their winning ways as they hosted Pittsburgh Rugby Club (D3) who were coming off a 29 – 15 loss at the hands of the Greensburg Maulers in week 1. On a cool and overcast day, the Highlanders eagerly anticipated to the league debuts of new number 8 Michael Rennie, the return of long time outside center Patrick Dobbins and the first appearances of rookies Chad Smith and Keith Gregovich.
The Highlanders were able to score quickly off the fast feet of Devin Zangaro (IUP). For the second week in a row, Devin, a natural flyhalf or center, was able to take a nice pass from Nick Weidhaas (Union College) and use his speed to touch the ball down. Devin has made a nice transition to wing for the Highlanders and is proving to be quite a versatile asset in the Highlander back line. Shortly thereafter, City was able to dot down a try, but it was quickly answered by Highlander number 8 Michael Rennie. Later in the half, City was awarded a penalty try after rookie Keith Gregovich, playing in his first rugby contest, horse collared a player and was sent to the sin bin. City took the lead on the play, but the Highlanders were able to pound in two more tries before the half from center Neil Reynolds (UPJ) and flanker Eric David. The score at half read: Highlanders 24 – Pitt City 12.
The second half was a continuation of Highlander dominance. The lead they would build throughout the second half would allow them to get new players some much needed in game experience. Highlander lock Andrew Chapman was able to dot down his first try of the season and Rennie was able to place down two consecutive tries to blow the game wide open. Even though City was able to score one more time with time running out, Highlander reserves Timmy Chapman and Patrick Dobbins (UPJ) were able to touch down their first tries of the season. Dobbins, playing wing off the bench today, was seeing his first action since July when he broke his thumb at Cleveland’s Rock ‘n Roll 7’s tournament. He was thrilled to get back into the action and on the score sheet.
After all the action was completed, the Highlander beat cross-town rival Pittsburgh Rugby Club to the score of 53 -19. With the win, the Highlanders improve to 2 – 0 and sit atop the Midwest Eastern Division. They will travel to Greensburg (1 – 1) next week.
First XV: 1 – Crifaci, 2 – Ab. Cone, 3 – R. Gregg, 4 – A. Chapman, 5 – Benvenuti, 6 – Boyd, 7 – David, 8 – Rennie, 9 – Vesely, 10 – Massie, 11 – Gregovich, 12 – Reynolds, 13 – Weidhaas, 14 – Zangaro, 15 – Powell
Reserves: 16 – Andrus, 17 – Reaghard, 18 – T. Chapman, 19 – Smith, 20 – Glasstetter, 21 – Dobbins, 22 – Zapf, 23 – Fazekas
Substitutions: Dobbins for Gregovich @ 40’ (TC), Glasstetter for Vesely @ 50’ (TC), Andrus for R. Gregg @ 60’ (TC), T. Chapman for A. Chapman @ 60’ (TC), Reaghard for Boyd @ 65’ (TC), Smith for Rennie @ 70’ (TC), Fazekas for Reaghard @ 75’ (BL)
Referee: Judd Worrall (ARURS)
Tries: A. Chapman (1), T. Chapman (1), David (3), Dobbins (1), Rennie (1, 2, 3), Reynolds (1), Zangaro (2)
Conversions: Powell (4/9)
Cards: Yellow – Andrus (1), Gregovich (1)
Man of the Match: Michael Rennie, Number 8 (1)