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Mudturtles Represent on RugbyNJ U19 Select Side Team at New York 7s

Posted on 11/29/2017 4:06:51 PM by Mudturtle Rugby |   Return To Blog
The RugbyNJ U19 Boys Select-side team just wrapped up a successful NY 7s run. The tournament, which had over 140 teams in it from all over the world, is considered one of the most competitive tournaments in the North America. The RugbyNJ team was formed after three very competitive tryout sessions that saw 21 NJ players make a run at the 12-player roster. In the end, the team was comprised of players representing Hudson Catholic, St. Augustine, Morris, and Union. At the end of the tournament, RugbyNJ finished 3-1 in second place in the Boys Open, loosing to Eastern Ontario RU in the Finals, 19-5. The team was coached by Joe Dabulas (Rutgers), assisted by Jason Cunningham (Hudson Catholic), and managed by Bill MacLaney (Union). Steven Chen served as the trainer for the team.

Match Results:

RugbyNJ 12 - Berks H.S. (PA) 10 - Pool B Play

In the first half, the RugbyNJ boys got off to a slow start, hanging back in defense and not pressuring. The Berks team was able to rattle off 2 quick trys without conversions by breaking thru the middle. After a few tweaks to the lineup and some changes in defensive strategy, the RugbyNJ boys were able to adjust their game and start playing the style of play that would serve them well for the rest of the day. After a few well-managed counterattacks in the first half, RugbyNJ received a scrum on the right side of the field about 15 meters from the try zone. Dilsher Maini won the hook, which Sean MacLaney (SH) was able to turn into a weak side run up the side line for the first try of the day for RugbyNJ. 10-5 half.

The second half opened up with RugbyNJ dominating the possession of the ball. As the minutes of the half wore on, the team started to become more comfortable with playing with each other for the first time. Maini, along with Ryan Rhatigan, made some stellar defensive plays, which set the tone for the rest of the day. Griffin Gonzalez picked up on the defensive effort as he was able to join in on jackaling the ball away from the Berks team on multiple occasions. After maintaining possession for most of the half, RugbyNJ moved up the field and just before the Berks 22m line, MacLaney pooched kicked the ball into the right corner for Pat Orth to score the first of his six tries of the day. Hunter Musson made the difficult conversion from the corner. 12-10 FINAL.

RugbyNJ 19 Aspetuck Valley 7 - Pool B Play

The RugbyNJ team picked up right where they left off. Elijah Hampton and Rhatigan shored up the defense effort by making some great tackles in the first half with Maini and Liam Andersen were able to poach the ball with regularity. One of which allowed Orth to break away down the left sideline for a try. Musson's sure foot added the conversion. Aspetuck rallied with a try of their own. Jared Hannah was able to keep the RugbyNJ team in possession thru some tremendous workmate at scrum half position - hitting breakdown after breakdown. Musson answered in return with a try of his own off of some fancy footwork.

In the second half, Johnny Mitchell was able to see some daylight with a few breaks. Eventually, RugbyNJ was able to take advantage of the Aspetuck Valley team who were keying in on Mitchell when Rhatigan threw a dummy switch and was able to break thru the middle for a try. Musson converted. 19-7 FINAL

RugbyNJ 19 Upright Rogues 0 - Semifinals

Early defensive pressure by Maini & Hampton and followed up by Ryan Dones and Rhatigan pinned the Upright team within the first minute to set up a scrum in front of the posts deep in Upright territory. MacLaney was able to pick up the ball to gain positive yardage and after quick ruck by Hampton, Orth was able to sneak his way in for the try. Musson converted. 7 - 0.Dones with a big breakaway was able to get the RugbyNJ team back on its feet after Upright pinned the RugbyNJ team deep in its own territory. A few moments later, MacLaney was able to put his foot on the ball for a high "up and under," which Orthwas able to snag for another try. 19-0

The second half was bogged down with a number of scrums, which worked out in the RugbyNJ favor by slowing the clock down. The pack consisting of Andres Gomes, Gonzalez, and Rhatigan forced the time to wind down with a strong scrummaging effort. Later in the half Gomes was able to tear down the sideline with a solid run to move the ball out of RugbyNJ territory to help solidify the win. 19-0 FINAL

Cup Finals - RugbyNJ 5 - Eastern Ontario RU (EORU) 19

The RugbyNJ after a long day started out on fire by pinning EORU deep in their own territory. After a quick tap penalty byMacLaney, he was able to beat his man with a quick pass to Orth who went in for the try unopposed. RugbyNJ was pounding on the door again with a hammer run by Andersen, which drove the ball close to the Ontario line. A questionable call reversed the gains and EORU was able to break thru the middle for a score. Mitchell was able to thwart another break thru by EORU when he chased down an EORU runner. As the RugbyNJ team tired, EORU was able to put another try in for a final score of 19-5.
The Semifinal game and Cup Final game is available at

Official Roster:

Liam Andersen (Morris)

Ryan Dones (Union)

Andres Gomes (Hudson Catholic)

J. Griffin Gonzalez (Union)

Elijah Hampton (Hudson Catholic)

Jared Hannah (St. Augustine)

Dilsher Maini (Morris)

Sean MacLaney (Union)

Johnny Mitchell (Morris)

Hunter Musson (Union)

Pat Orth (Union)

Ryan Rhatigan (Union)