April 17, 2014
The Lock Haven University Rugby Football Club suffered a close loss in the last minute of their match against annual rival Wilkes-Barre Breakers RFC on Saturday at Jack Stadium in the early spring heat.
Haven began the game with strong runs, including a ten-meter try from shifty fullback and captain Alec Eggerton in the 5th minute. The two-point conversion kick would miss, but Haven led the Breakers 5-0.
The remainder of the first half saw defensive dominance from the Haven backs and strong scrumming and lineouts from Haven’s organized forwards. Oversized scrumhalf Torin Killeen capitalized after a ruck close to the goal line, making a cut and bowling through a defender to dive in for an additional five points in the 22nd minute.
Haven’s strong open-field kicking was countered by the Breakers’ technical kicks, which gave them a three-point penalty kick in the first half.
The Haven backline swung the ball out wide to consistent threat Matt Henderson, who scored under the posts for a twenty-meter try, possibly the wing’s shortest try of a season distinguished by the his constant breakaways. The conversion was successful, making the score 17-3 at halftime.
Lock Haven was less dominant in the second half of the match due to fatigue in the heat and injuries to several key players, forcing rookies and B-side players to step up in an important game against a sizeable team. Henderson would score another converted try in the 55th minute, but not before the Breakers could score one of their own.
A score in the corner of the try zone by wing Kasey Sheetz renewed confidence for Lock Haven with fifteen minutes remaining in the match. However, the breakers would score two tries as well—all of them successfully converted.
A series of defensive errors resulted in a Breakers possession in Lock Haven’s territory with a minute left in the match. A penalty allowed the Breakers to take a quick tap with their powerful loosehead prop, who barreled into the try zone to tie the game. The converted kick made the score 31-29 in favor of the Breakers, who received the kickoff and cleared the ball out of bounds to end the match in injury time.
This loss marks the second in a row after a three-win start to the season against Millersville, Youngstown State and Clarion. LHURFC will conclude their spring season this Saturday at West Chester University.