Quins upset Exiles

The Maryland Exiles Rugby Football Club travelled to Founders Field in Indianola today to take on division rival Pittsburgh Harlequins. Exiles Pit 4 Even though Maryland has struggled of late, they arrived with 19 players, similar to the host.  In the end,  The Harlequins prevailed 18-13, leapfrogging Maryland in the overall standings with two weeks left in the fall session.Exiles Pit 6

The first 15 minutes were fairly even, even with the home team giving up several knock-ons.   At 17 minutes Maryland caught the Quins off guard and were able to touch it down in the corner after the concerted effort of their entire team.  On the ensuing kickoff Tyree Massie (CalU of PA) muscled his way to recover the kick, offloaded to Nick Koon and Jason Ewing who crossed the line- only to be called back to the 22 for a forward pass.

Exiles Pit 1

The Harlequins poached the ball off a ruck one minute later, and Paul Holmes carried most of the Exile backline across the goal line with him for the score.

Ted Sheedy found himself with space late in the second half; but a quick response by the Exiles kept the score deadlocked until Referee Brei Gussack pinged the Exiles Pit 5Harlequins for an infraction in front of their posts.  An easy chip by the visitors took them into the half up 13-10.

The Harlequins had the bulk of possession for the first twenty minutes of the second half, undoubtedly admonished at halftime for a full 14 knock-on’s in the first half.  At the 65 minute mark Nick Koon was able to slot one from 30 meters to tie the game at 13 all.

Five minutes later, as the rain continued to drizzle and the temperature began to drop, Josh Stiger was able to collect the ball in support and touch the ball down for the go ahead try.

The Exiles were determined to compete until the end, and put together maul after rolling maul, in a well orchestrated forwards attack.  Try as they might, they spent the final 10 minutes predominantly playing out of their own end, and the game ended 18-13 in favor of the Harlequins.

Exiles Pit 6 The Harlequins travel to Baltimore next weekend to take on league leaders the BC Brumbies who won on the road today against Raleigh.  The Exiles travel home tonight to get ready for Potomac Athletic Club.