PWRFC 50 - Roanoke RFC 22
Philadelphia Whitemarsh RFC (9-0) took another step on its path back to prominence Saturday morning with a convincing 50-22 win over visiting Roanoke RFC (5-3) in the MARFU Quarterfinals. PWRFC representing the 1 seed out of the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union jumped out to an early lead and then exploded in the beginning of the second half to knock out Roanoke, the 3 seed out of the Virginia Rugby Union.
Louis Tulio got the scoring started in the opening minutes for PW on a cutback move from the outside center position to put the home team up 5-0. Minutes later, Fullback Jim Rosato broke down the sideline and fed the pill inside to right winger Brian Engle who took it the rest of the way to give PW a 12-0 lead on Rosato’s conversion. Captain and #8 Bob Haller touched down again for PW off of a 5-meter scrum to push the lead to 19-0 after Rosato’s conversion midway through the first half.
Roanoke didn’t travel all the way to Philadelphia to roll over and did well to fight back after PW’s initial push. After 10+ minutes of scoreless play, Roanoke punched in off of a penalty deep in PW’s end to get on the board 19-5. Minutes later, the visitors again found the try zone off of sustained forward crashes and cut the lead to 19-10 at the half.
Philly Whitemarsh came flying out of the gate in the second half, scoring 5 unanswered tries in the first 20 minutes of the stanza. First it was fly half Conway Maraki breaking through tackles and over the line. Rosato converted again pushing the lead to 26-10. Next it was halfback Brian Oteri’s turn to make a run through the defense and touch down under the posts. Rosato’s conversion made it 33-10.
Rosato added to his point total that would reach 15 by the end of the day and net him ‘man of the match’ honors, scoring off an offload from flanker Matt Boccuti. He could not convert his own try but PW still led 38-10. Maraki added another try and Andrew Fusco, representing the front row, finished off the scoring for PW pushing the lead to 50-10 before the home squad made use of their bench.
Roanoke finished the second half much like they did the first, scoring two tries and converting one, cutting the lead to 50-22 for the final whistle. All in all, 7 PWRFC players touched down 8 tries to Roanoke’s 4.
Philadelphia Whitemarsh RFC advances to the MARFU Final Four next weekend where they will take on the tournament hosts, North Penn RFC at 1 PM. North Penn advanced after defeating North Bay RFC 26-18. PW defeated North Penn 14-11 in a hotly contested game during the EPRU Playoffs last fall.
Virginia RFC will take on the Washington Renegades in the other Semi final at 3PM. The winners of the semifinals will play for seeding in the USA Round of 16 and the MARFU Championship on Sunday.