PW wins MARFU Semis over North Penn 23-16

Betzler and McLean analyze the action

Philly Whitemarsh RFC (10-0) fended off a late push from North Penn RFC (8-2) to win their MARFU Semifinal Saturday afternoon by a score of 23-16.  PW used a strong first 30 minutes to build a 15-3 lead and then scored an unconverted try on the last play of the game to advance to the MARFU Championship Match.

Philly Whitemarsh RFC (10-0) fended off a late push from North Penn RFC (8-2) to win their MARFU Semifinal Saturday afternoon by a score of 23-16.  PW used a strong first 30 minutes to build a 15-3 lead and then scored an unconverted try on the last play of the game to advance to the MARFU Championship Match.

North Penn, the MARFU Final Four hosts, looked to strike first on a penalty kick just minutes into the game but a strong wind that pushed kicks and line-out throws all match long pushed the ball wide right.  Minutes later, PW took advantage of a North Penn turnover and go the ball wide to left wing, Brian Engle who streaked in from 20 meters and touched down in the corner to give PW a 5-0 lead.  Jim Rosato was unable to convert from the sideline in the windy conditions.

After a good bit of sustained possession from North Penn, PW forced another turnover and used several well placed offloads to eventually get the ball to flanker Tim Foley who took the pill the last 15 meters to pay dirt and extend the lead to 10-0.   Both sides did well to move the ball down the field but both defenses also did well to keep the score at 10-0 until North Penn was awarded a penalty inside PW’s 22 and in front of the posts.  The kick cut the lead to 10-3.

PW flyhalf, Conway Maraki broke through the gain line deep in North Penn’s half a few minutes later and passed to #8 Bob Haller who dove over the try line and scored.  Rosato was unable to figure out the wind and PW led 15-3.  North Penn got 3 back before the end of the first half, again on penalty in front of the posts.  The halftime score was 15-6.

North Penn used another penalty kick to get within a try at the beginning of the second half, but Rosato converted a penalty kick with the wind now in his favor to push the PW lead to 18-9.  Strong forward play out of the hosts brought them deep in the PW zone where they were finally able to touch the ball down in the try zone.  The conversion cut the lead to just 2 at 18-16 with about 20 minutes left to play.

Both sides had good try opportunities over the next 10 minutes but neither was able to cash in.  Both sides also saw players dismissed with yellow cards but still neither was able to punch anything in. On the last play of the game, Foley stole the ball off of a North Penn lineout and second row, Kevin Denehy scooped up the ball and ran the 15 meters left to the try zone to give PW the 23-16 win.

With the win, PW earned a spot in the USA Rugby round of 16. On Sunday, they will play for the MARFU championship against the Virginia Rugby Union champions, Virginia RFC (8-0), who beat the Washington Renegades 33-26 in the other MARFU semifinal.  That game will also determine seeding in the USA Rugby round of 16.

Twitter Scoring

  • Philly Whitemarsh and North Penn set to kick off the MARFU Semifinals!
  • PW kicks off and we are underway.
  • North Penn penalty kick no good. 0-0.
  • Brian Engle scores in the left corner 5-0 PW
  • Conversion wide right 5 nil PW
  • PW fans are awesome http://pic.twitter.com/KR96TJpt
  • The brain trust Betzler and mcLean http://pic.twitter.com/4BvoUBtp
  • Tim Foley scores on turn over ball unconverted 10-0
  • North Penn penalty against the wind but in front of the posts 10-3
  • Conway break unloads to Bobby Haller try unconverted 15-3 PW
  • NP penalty 15-6
  • 15-6 PW leads North Penn at the half.
  • Another penalty in front of the posts for NP 15-9
  • PWs turn for a penalty in front Rosato hits it 18-9
  • PW pounding the line scrum 5
  • NP converted try PW holding on 18-16
  • Tim Foley makes the play of the day knocks the ball to our side out of the kicker Kevin Denehy scores unconverted 23-16
  • Final 23-16 to PW
  • PW boys relax after a well earned victory http://pic.twitter.com/vHqEsngP
  • NP touch judge?? http://pic.twitter.com/hemgsBSL
  • PWRFC defeated North Penn RFC 23-16 in a hard fought match and punched their ticket to Pittsburgh for the USA... http://fb.me/sFAXP09X

The event will take place at our Unisys Field located in Blue Bell Pennsylvania.
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Unisys+Corporation,+Blue+Bell,+PA&hl=en&sl...

Congrats to all that made it to the Final Four.   For the teams traveling from the south, the best place to get a hotel would be in Plymouth Meeting or Lansdale. If you have any questions about the weekend or hotels please contact Dan Pickersgill -- 484-576-3039

The schedule for Saturday and Sunday is as follows:

Saturday
1:00 -- Philadelphia-Whitemarsh v North Penn
3:00 -- Virginia v Washington Renegades

Sunday
11:00 Consolation Game
1:00 Championship Game

After Game social
Hatfield American Legion
2100 Koffel Rd
Hatfield PA