A perfect season for PWRFC

OT at the base moves the ball wide for PWRFC

Philadelphia Whitemarsh RFC (8-0) completed their undefeated season with an exclamation point in a 78-12 win over Wilkes Barre RFC (4-4).  With the win, PW was crowned EPRU Division III champions and earned a #1 seeding for the MARFU playoffs in the spring.  Nine players accounted for 12 tries for PW and flanker Kevin Denehy won Man of the Match honors for PW.

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WB came out hungry and had PW on their heels early.  The visitors used several phases of forward crashes to drive down the field right from the opening kick and score to give WB an early 5-0 lead. PW had an answer though; gathering an offensive kick from fly half, Conway Maraki and getting the ball to inside center, Mike Kelly who broke one tackle and got PW on the board.  Jim Rosato’s conversion gave PW the lead 7-5 and they never looked back.

Kelly again found pay dirt minutes later off of a turnover generated by PW’s outside center, Ben Lieb.  Rosato’s conversion pushed the lead to 14-5. Maraki was the next player to make a long break for PW.  He offloaded to #8 and captain, Bob Haller who did the rest.  Rosato converted making it 21-5 PW.  The home squad continued to wear a pass to the try zone, this time by way of Denehy, off of a scrum deep in WB territory. Rosato was perfect on conversions in the first half and it was 28-5 a little over midway through the first half.

Scrumhalf, Bryan “OT” Oteri continued PW’s habit of generating turnovers off of a ruck on PW’s own 22 meter line.  He dished to Lieb who made a nice cutback move and galloped the rest of the way for the score.  Left wing, Kurht Engle capped off the scoring in the first half with a signature long zig-zag run through the defense to give PW a 42-5 at the half.

The second half continued to go in PW’s favor.  Right wing, Cliff Webster touched down back to back tries off of dishes from Haller and Maraki making it 52-5. WB was finally able to stop PW’s 52-0 run with a try from their outside center off of a scrum 10 meters from PW’s tryline.  The conversion was good and the score read 52-12.  There was no quit in WB as they controlled possession for the next 10 minutes, however they would not score again.

Instead, PW would pile on 4 more tries before the day was done.  Engle added another highlight to his reel, making several cuts before taking it in from 40 meters for his second try of the game. Flanker, Tim Foley got in on the action with yet another try for the home team, pushing the lead to 66-12.  In an unselfish move, OT made a 40 meter break and instead of taking it in, offloaded to prop, Ken Grey who was streaking alongside in support and scored his first try of the season. Rosato capped the scoring at 78-12, dragging a defender the last few meters to the try zone before the final whistle.

Philadelphia Whitemarsh RFC now has a few months off before the MARFU playoffs, scheduled to begin April 21st.  PW will host the #3 team out of the Virginia Rugby Union. Old Gaelic RFC and North Penn RFC will join PW as the three representatives from the EPRU.  Wilkes Barre RFC finishes their season in 5th place in the EPRU.

Halftime, Coach Maraki

Match Scoring Summary (twitter.com/therugbyclub)

  • 10:00am at Edgely Field KO Wilkes-Barre to PWRFC
  • WB strikes 1st conv missed 0-5
  • Mike Kelly scores for PW Rosato conv 7-5 PW
  • PW driving Lineout to PW
  • PWs Mike Kelly off turnover from Ben Lieb try under the posts Rosato conv 14-5
  • Marki break to Haller Rosato conv 21-5
  • Kevin Denehy rumbles in for 5 more Rosato hits from the corner 28-5
  • Turnover 60 meters OT to Lieb under the posts Rosato conv 35-5
  • Kurt Engle makes a long break one more PW try
  • Halftime Philadelphia Whitemarsh 42 Wilkes-Barre 5
  • Conway leads the troops at the half view photo »
  • Cliff Webster opens the 2nd half scoring 47-5
  • Webster again in the corner conv no PW 52 WB 5
  • WB drives and scores conv good 52-12
  • Sleepy spell for the PW boys WB driving again
  • 51 year old McLean enters the match for PW
  • Engle scores on breaks off Conway FH 50 meter try Rosato conv 59-12
  • Tim Foley scores Rosato conv 66-12
  • OT breaks slows down to dish to Ken Grey for the try
  • PW now leads 73-12
  • Rosato scores 78-12 final
  • Final Philadelphia Whitemarsh 78 Wilkes-Barre 12

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Post match was held at 8 East in Conshohocken, PA.

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