RUNY Shuts Out Houston, Jumps Up to Third Place
Rugby United New York wrapped up the final match of Major League Rugby’s 15th round in style on Sunday evening.
RUNY (9-3) handed a motivated Houston SaberCats team a 21-0 loss on a rainy day at MCU Park in a match that turned out to be a defensive battle. While Houston (2-10) had their fair share of chances to put points on the board, it was RUNY that was able to maintain composure throughout the match and was rewarded with the victory as a result.
Houston’s lack of discipline was on display early in the match when they were presented with a yellow card in the 13th minute. RUNY took advantage of the one-man advantage and made the SaberCats pay when hooker Dylan Fawsitt picked the ball out of the back of a scrum deep in Houston territory and punched it in for the first try of the match. Fullback Harry Bennett nailed the conversion to give RUNY at 7-0 lead in the 15th minute.
Down 7-0, the SaberCats’ trouble getting out of their own way early continued just a minute later when they were presented with their second yellow card of the match. RUNY smelled the blood in the water with Houston down two forwards and struck again with a Paddy Ryan try in the 18th minute. Bennett hit his second conversion to extend RUNY’s lead to 14-0 heading into the 20-minute hydration break.
After giving up two early tries, the SaberCats dug their heels into the turf and started to play some tough defense. They weathered the storm and responded with a couple of huge scrums to help them hang around.
That hard work began to pay off as the second half wound down. Houston began to string together some threatening offensive possessions, but RUNY responded with some incredibly tough defense of their own to make sure the SaberCats came away empty-handed heading into the locker rooms at halftime.
The SaberCats kept up the tenacity in the second half. A rainy day in Brooklyn led to a number of handling errors in the match and that was on full display early in the second half. After Houston and RUNY got their feet under them once again, both sides stood tall with multiple defensive stands and RUNY maintained their 14-0 lead heading into the 60-minute hydration break.
With their backs against the wall, Houston did everything they could to find a way to put up some tries. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough as RUNY continued to hold strong. With the match in hand, RUNY displayed some urgency of their own as they attempted to muster up two more tries to earn the ever important four-try bonus point.
They were rewarded for their efforts in the 71st minute when Fawsitt peeled off the back of a driving maul and in for his second try of the match. Bennett’s conversion gave RUNY a 21-0 lead, but their work wasn’t done.
Just when it looked like Fawsitt was going to punch in his third try of the match and provide RUNY with the four-try bonus point, Houston’s Victor Comptat punched the ball out of his hands.
A few more minutes of back-and-forth rugby ended and RUNY walked away with a 21-0 victory.
RUNY picked up four points with the win to move into third place in the league table with 42 total points on the season. Houston didn’t pick up any points in the loss and sit in eighth place with 11 points on the season.
Houston will look to get back in the win column when they welcome the Glendale Raptors to AVEVA Stadium on Saturday, May 11 while RUNY will look to extend their win streak when they welcome the defending champion Seattle Seawolves to town for a battle on Saturday afternoon.
Rugby United New York
Tries: Dylan Fawsitt (2), Paddy Ryan
Conversions: Harry Bennett (3/3)
Penalty Goals: N/A
Penalty Goals: N/A
Colton can be reached at [email protected]
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