PRU HS All-stars Defeat EPRU HS All-stars 22-10
CONSHOHOCKEN - An estimated 4,000 people were on hand Saturday to watch two heavyweight college rugby squads square off in what could have been a preview of the 2004 National Collegiate Championship.
Army and Navy winners of their respective unions in the Fall went toe-to-toe for a thrilling 80 minutes in A.A. Garthwaite Stadium. At the final whistle they were deadlocked, 17-17 - a result that will weigh heavily on both sides minds as they head to the national playoffs in the Spring.
In the day's curtain-raiser match, an all-star team of high school rugby players from the Potomac Rugby Union defeated their Eastern Pennsylvania counterparts 22-10 before a crowd of several hundred.
Eastern Pennsylvania was led by Wilmington Colts flyhalf Jason Lotter, who scored one try, nailed a convertion and used his powerful leg to get his side out of trouble on numerous occasions. His second-half replacement, Allentown's Jared Benedict, accounted for the sides other three points with a penalty goal. Potomac was led by the play of its talented flyhalf, Mohammed Khaziol, and the strong running of #8 Van Mahoney.
Fullback Matt Grinney dotted down first for Potomac, then nailed the convertion for a 7-0 lead. Khaziol made a penalty kick and winger Quinton Smith added a try to give Potomac a 15-7 first-half lead.
Hooker Brandon Fielding scored a try from two meters out early in the second half and Khaziol converted to make the final 22-10.
When asked his overall thoughts about the game, Dan 'Benny' Benedict, Coach of Allentown Blues R.F.C. stated, "We lost the match, however it was a pleasure coaching such fine atheletes. We only had a few practice sessions and the kids responded well.
We started all the senior players and in the second half the seniors and juniors joined forces. With juniors playing it planted the seed for future competitive EPRU All-star events. It's all for the kids.The more rugby experience a young player can get, the better that player will become.
Being involved in the last few All-star events including the SportsFest has given me a great opportunity to not only coach a great bunch of kids but to also take notice at how well the other High School Rugby coach's are doing. It's a credit to them and the EPRU.
All of the EPRU players had a good time and hats off to Philadelphia - Whitemarsh for sponsoring such a fine event."