(alas, this sports story from Sunday, October 26 was not picked up by the wire services)
Under a beautiful fall sky, the Northern Virginia RFC Old Boys stormed to victory today in the fall classic against their cross-town rivals in “over-35″ rugby, the Virginia Gentlemen RFC, a.k.a. “the Poltroons” and The Wild Geese RFC.
The match was played at the home pitch of the Wild Geese, a traveling side of senior ruggers, in bucolic Dickerson, Maryland. There, the Geese and the highly-respected Poltroons, another senior side, challenged the Old Boys for mid-Atlantic rugby dominance.
In their first game against the Wild Geese, the Old Boys broke out early with clever running out of the pack by Jamie Wiles and Tim Hardmon combined with close support from scrumhalf Dan Daus and center Ed Gafney. Forwards Ken Fraine, Pat Cunningham and Brandon Brucker formed an impenetrable defensive wall.
Using superior speed, NOVA grabbed three early tries, while giving up only one, to establish a solid 15-5 lead. With the brilliant sunshine and numerous onlookers, the NOVA Boys could not be blamed for enjoying the moment.
Unfortunately, a miscue in the back (on a potential fourth try) led to an 80 meter run by the Wild Geese with a conversion with little time remaining. However, the Old Boys rallied and held the line against any further scores. The final score was 15-12 for the NOVA elder statesmen.
In the second game against the Poltroons, the Old Boys made a key change, substituting Clarence “Weasel” Williams in at flyhalf. Williams’ ball-handling skills set up former USA Eagles star Prince Hill and his counterpart ”Speedy Ed” Kerner for several break-through runs.
The true star of the second half though was flanker David Lazzo who pressed forward bravely in “the loose” and broke off several long runs. Lazzo tallied at least one score with a forty-meter scamper. He also combined with winger Chap Petersen to nearly score another in the far corner of the try zone, although he inexplicably failed to pass the ball on the 1-meter line.
Petersen and Lazzo handled the conversions for the Old Boys who won the second game by a comfortable margin (a good faith estimate is 30-0). The Poltroons distinguished themselves with hard tacking and good sportmanship until the final whistle.
The NOVA over-35 squad left the field in high spirits and vowed to play again soon.