Week 2 of the Fall D1A season brought teams their first regular season matches, while others continued their preseason preparations. On Friday, Fordham hosted Rutgers in the first league game of the I-95 Division in the Liberty Conference. The Rams beat Rutgers 26-5, working tirelessly on defense to hold Rutgers to a single unconverted try. The Rams were led by Flanker Henry Cunniffe, who earned Man of the Match honors for his tireless defense, strong ball carrying, and great work in the lineouts. Cunniffe got his team on the board early, when the Rams quickly moved a turnover ball out wide leading to a well-executed try.
Elsewhere in Liberty Conference regular season play, SUNY Oswego hosted Colgate for their first match as a member of the Empire division, as well as at the D1A level. Colgate were able to hold off the newcomers, and came away with a hard fought, 22-20, win to start their regular season.
In the Rugby East Conference, Buffalo travelled to play the 11th ranked Notre Dame College. The Falcons were heavily favored in this matchup, and came away with a convincing 65-0 win over the Bulls in the first league game of the Rugby East Conference this year.
As teams in the Mid-South begin preparations for the upcoming season, the Conference’s newest member, Navy, hosted St. Bonaventure. Navy put together a stellar defensive effort, going on to shut out St. Bonaventure 15-0. It was a tightly contested affair, with the first score coming 30 minutes into the game and the result lying squarely in the balance until the final whistle. For the unranked Bonnies, to have matched up so well against Navy, ranked 8th nationally, will give them tremendous confidence as they launch their Rugby East season this coming week against 6th ranked Army.
Another Mid-South team in action was Clemson, as they made their way to College Station to take on Texas A&M. The Tigers pulled off an impressive second half comeback against the Aggies, despite being down 12 points at half time. Clemson went on to score 18 unanswered points in the second half and won the game 18-12.
In their final preseason match, Syracuse travelled to Long Island to take on Stony Brook in the first ever clash for the Baigent Cup. Peter Baigent was a founding member of both Syracuse and Stony Brook’s rugby programs, as well as one of the founding members of USA Rugby. Baigent passed away last fall, prompting the two teams to hold an annual match in his honor. Syracuse came away victorious 46-10.