Wheeling Jesuit opens Rugby East with win over St. Bonaventure

D1A Rugby: Wheeling Jesuit opens Rugby East with win over St. Bonaventure
Photo Credit: WJU Athletics

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Wheeling Jesuit University won its fourth consecutive game and first in the Rugby East Conference after outplaying St. Bonaventure and producing a 62-15 win at home.

Eight Cardinal tries were scored by eight different players for Wheeling Jesuit, the first coming from Joji Valasiskala. Carter Landry would score a second unconverted try for the Cardinals before Christian Artuso got the Bonnies on the board with a penalty kick.

Leading 10-3, Wheeling Jesuit added two more tries before the close of the first half through the hands of Frank Rolf and Allan Hanson.

Cardinal Head Coach Tommy Duffy, who secured his first Rugby East win as the lead man at Wheeling Jesuit, noted the team’s strong performance in the set piece and around the tackle area.

“The team dominated in the lineouts, winning all offensive lineouts and four other defensive lineouts,” Duffy told WJU Athletics. “We were able to control the pace of the entire game, winning the majority of the rucks.”

Wing Jaret Williamson and reserve back Jinesh Shaji would find the try zone for St. Bonaventure, but the offensive production was too little and too late. Wheeling Jesuit’s Alston Burton, Peter Malcolm, Cullen Buckey and captain Hugh McAllister scored second-half tries to put the match out of reach.

Duffy commended the half-back paring of Zach Stamanack and Hanson for the team’s productive afternoon on attack.

The loss drops the Bonnies to 1-1 in the Rugby East Conference after picking up a win over Buffalo last week. St. Bonaventure will have an opportunity to move back above the .500 mark when it hosts Army Saturday, Sept. 23.

The Cardinals now have their eyes set on a 2-0 start and will pay their first conference match on the road next weekend when Wheeling Jesuit visits Iona.