Quins win in Washington

The Pittsburgh Harlequins travelled to Washington DC to play the Washington Rugby Club Saturday at Rosecroft Raceway in Oxon Hill.  While Founders Field in Pittsburgh had temperatures dipping into the low 60’s and enough rain to have animals pairing up, Rosecroftraceway was sporting 90 temperatures, typical DC humidity, and plenty of sunshine at kickoff.



The Quins won the coin toss and elected to head uphill for the first half on a field that would have excellent runoff in a rainstorm.  Almost out of the gate the Scarlet and Royal showed that fitness pays off as a few short moments of adjusting back to game mode led to some great support in the centers and Ben Paul running in a try between the posts.  A conversion by rookiescrumhalf Evan McNenly put the visitors up 7-0.

A very dominant forward pack didn’t waste any time adding to the point total as Anthony Ciotti led several phases inside the opposition half, and touched down himself for five.  A tough uphill conversion from the far sideline was slotted by the confident McNenly, who turned out to be perfect on the day with extra points.

For the next twenty minutes the teams battled each other and the heat, the only points coming from a pair of penalties awarded to Washington right in front of the posts.  Tyler Luffy showed his fitness by consistently getting to Washington’s very large ball carriers and putting them on the deck.  As the clock ticked closer to halftime, Pittsburgh hit their stride and excellent support in the backs led to McNenly crossing the goal line and converting his own try.  With no time left in the half the Harlequin backline showed their stamina and came up with another converted try, to take the visitors into halftime 28-6.

Halftime was a brief respite from the heat, and after a few minutes to hydrate and recover in the shade, the Quins forwards dominated play both offensively and defensively.  Nate Vernercame in to add some fresh legs to the pack, as the Quins continued to use the entire field, and the centers systematically found space for two more tries.

With 20 minutes left to play, the Quins scored their final of the day, as the forwards added to their tally.  The Quins lost a bit of focus near the end (with a final penalty count of 2 in favor and 29 against) and received two yellow cards leading to three tries for the home team.   At the final whistle, the Quins walked away with a solid 49-23 victory on the road.

September 15th the Harlequins will host the Northern Virginia Rugby Club (NOVA) coming off a 34-27 win against visiting Norfolk.