The Rugby Cats have enjoyed a busy few days, facing St. Edward and Avon Lake.
On Friday, the Rugby Cats played their historic rivals, the Saint Edward Eagles, at home on Wasmer Field. The JV side kicked off the night and started an amazing chain of events. The JV side scored early on, and the Wildcats’ success only continued throughout the match. Personally, I was impressed by the JV team, as this was my first time seeing them play. They looked fantastic. Freshman Timothy Putka’22 and his very physical style of play really stood out to me during the match.
The A side took the field after the victorious JV cats. The Wildcats kicked off and scored early in the game. The Wildcats defense was crucial and also a crucial part of the game. The defense was able to hold back Anthony Lamonica, Michael Hertzel, Mark Blum, and the other strong players on the Saint Edward team. However, the Wildcats defense did leave a lot to be desired, as the team accumulated more than ten penalties in each half.
“We need to stay more disciplined on defense, though it is something we work on every day in practice,” said scrumhalf Brian Strauss. “We need to move on from our past mistakes and grow stronger as a team so that we can eliminate those mistakes permanently.”
Offensively, the Wildcats looked sharp except for a few penalties throughout the game. Janniel Badeas put up two tries and Michael Mangan also finished the game with one try to his credit. Halfway through the second half, the Eagles started a late-game comeback. The Eagles managed to get the score 21-10. Soon, the Eagles narrowed the deficit to 22-15. With less than ten minutes left to play, the Eagles kept up the heat, but the Wildcats’ defense came through. The Wildcats were able to halt the late game barrage from the Eagles in order to get the victory, 21-15.
The B side team took the field and just dominated from the start, piling on the tries left and right. Nick Vitou ‘19 was perfect on all his conversions against the Eagles. The B side team would shoot down the Eagles and come away with the victory, 35-19.
The B side played Avon Lake’s A side on Monday. Avon Lake scored within the first minute of the game and would end up stealing the show. Unfortunately, the Shoremen upset the Wildcats 45-12 for the final.
The Rugby Cats plays at Medina Highland on Wednesday evening and will play Cathedral in two weeks in Columbus. The developmental team will play Highland at 5 pm, with A-side to follow at 6:15 pm.