NOVA D1 and D3 travelled to DC on September 8, 2018 to take on cross-rivers foes PAC Exiles and newly formed PWC RFC.
Promoted from D2 to D1 this season, NOVA D1 looked to take the field as a Division One team for the first time in two years. D3 looked to continue their winning preseason campaign as they start their matrix season next week.
NOVA D1 took the field with excitement and jitters, feeling the weight of the game. Being back in D1 for the first time in two years and the last time NOVA was in D1, the team went winless the entire season, meaning this was no ordinary first match of a season.
Coming off a D2 season that showed success, and with a talented team showing promise, NOVA was hungry and determined to continue the winning they had become accustomed to in D2 on the D1 pitch.
NOVA D1 vs PAC Game Recap
NOVA was put to the test early as PAC kicked deep inside the 22 on the opening kickoff and retained possession with a strong counter ruck. It was all defense for NOVA in the first 5 minutes, defending inside their own 22 until NOVA created a turnover and were able to clear their own lines.
The first points came on the board when PAC was penalized in the middle of the field and NOVA's flyhallf, West End and Bowling Green Rugby standout, Nick Ross slotted a penalty kick.
NOVA 3 - PAC 0, 8:00 minutes
As the rain started to pour, balls started to go to deck for both sides. Scrum Time. NOVA's pack led by Hooker, Man of the Match, Andrew Iscaro controlled the set piece. PAC put in, NOVA put in, didn't matter, scrum time meant it was NOVA's Ball!
The forwards continued their dominance with a series of pick and goes where NOVA Veteran, and newly engaged, Will Hagan scored a team forward try. Nick Ross Converted.
NOVA 10 - PAC 0, 29:00 minutes
NOVA's potent backline was all defense first half. Debutant Wing, West Virginia's Pride, Donald Hairston set the tone early making big hits, and back three leader, NOVA Vet, Gareth Willatt was all over the pitch from his Fullback position, handling any counters. Mid fielders Brian Mulloy and Adam Henderson stopped everything up the middle. PAC's speedy wings and hard hitting centers couldn't finish despite making a couple breaks and at the 35 minute mark, NOVA was running at will and stopping everything PAC threw at them.
As the half was coming to an end, NOVA's danger-man and Capital Selects Standout Wing, CJ Burnes got ball in hand. A few X-buttons and Y-bursts later, CJ had a 40 meter scamper under the posts! Even though you expect CJ to go beast-mode, when he does it's like seeing it for the first time! Nick Ross Converts.
NOVA 17 - PAC 0, Halftime
We'll rush through the next 20 minutes of the second half... NOVA came out flat. PAC's athletes and tactical substitutions caught NOVA on the back foot. PAC would score three tries, two converted, in these 20 minutes NOVA would like to forget.
NOVA 17 - PAC 19, 60:00 minutes
Don't be sad, you're about to hear something beautiful. Keep reading.
Another score wouldn't happen for 16 minutes as Nick Ross was able to slot a PK to take back the lead.
NOVA 20 - PAC 19, 75:00 minutes
Ready for pretty? NOVA fielded the kickoff and worked the ball to the opponents 10 meter line. The play of the game comes when Adam Henderson spots space and lays an almost perfectly weighted kick to the corner for speedster, finisher, NOVA Vet, Fishy Anthony Fish Everson! To not give too much away, and you really had to be there to see it, Fish gathered the ball and it passed through three NOVA players hands before Penn State-Tailgating Alum, Adam Elliot scored just outside of the posts! Jacob Estes Converts
NOVA 27 - PAC 19, 76:00 Minutes
It showed a lot of guts and heart for NOVA to give up a 17-0 lead and come back to take a two score lead. The sidelines were going crazy and NOVA could finally breath after a stressful second half.
PAC showed their heart as well, never giving up, scoring a try in the 78th minute, unconverted. They rushed back to receive the ball to try to tie it up or take the lead with one more go. NOVA would hold strong in the last minutes of the game, earning a penalty on the final play. NOVA kicked to touch and match was called.
NOVA 27 - PAC 24, Final
1. Christian Rubio
2. Andrew Iscaro
3. Will Hagan
4. JEB Bell
5. Rob Edmonson
6. Tyler Budd
7. Michael Medlej
8. Adrian Martinez
9. Jacob Estes
10. Nick Ross (C)
11. CJ Burnes
12. Brian Mulloy
13. Adam Henderson
14. Donald Hairston
15. Gareth Willatt
16. Ben Hartley
17. Lloyd Baylis
18. Matt Marino
19. Lee Winkler
20. Timmy Moran
21. Adam Elliot
22. Anthony Fish Everson
23. Matt Dong
NOVA D3 vs PWC Game Recap
NOVA D3 took the field against PWC in their final preseason matchup before their matrix season starts next weekend. Coach Josh Ears Brooks played a different combination of players, mixing new comers and vets, rookies and seasoned players.
It didn't matter what combination coach Ears put on the field, NOVA was firing on all cylinders! NOVA's attack was potent all over the field being led by the field generals scrum half Timmy Moran and Fly Half Dave.
PWC had big forwards, but flankers Matt Dong and Jordan Parker were up to the task, tackling all day. If there was a big guy with ball in hand, look for the scrum-cap of Matt Dong to be chopping them down!
Maniac Tyler Morson was all over the field at flanker and 8-man! His presence was undeniably felt by PWC and was seen by all his teammates, being voted Man of the Match! He scored a beast mode try at the end of the game, putting an exclamation point to his man of the match performance.
The back three were led by fullback Ahmed Skaljic who had many line-breaks and kick chases. But ultimately it was his motor that was most noticeable, running around the field making play after play.
Newcomers at both wings, Columbian Ivan and Sean Mulloy both had tries on the day. Taking ball at pace and proving to be up to the task.
As this was a preseason game, it was rolling subs and allowed the coaches to see multiple combinations. With over 50 players cipp'd already and 75 plus players at practice, the coaches are excited to have a successful D3 season in only its second year! Basically I'll get better notes next week in D3's first matrix match with lineups and what not.
NOVA 42 - PWC 19 Final
PKs and Conversions