U15 team extends unbeaten streak with win over tough Union; U13s fall, though improve in second half

66022_10151549390132988_314518531_nThe Pelham Youth Rugby U15 team continued its unbeaten streak, defeating a very big, very physical Union County Club during a home match at Glover Field on Sunday.

The game looked tough before kick off, with two players nursing sore knees and one having been sick all weekend. But all three stood up and were counted.

Pelham has “never played a more comprehensive team game,” said Coach Matt Persanis. “Every player contributed, even our spring call-up Jean Vigroux.”

Pelham was inspired by Nick Roll’s reaction to possibly the hardest hit all season. On a kick off, the Union player launched himself into Nick just as he caught the ball. Clearly hurt, Nick held on to the ball, placed it back perfectly and only after the penalty was called did he show any signs of having been hurt by the illegal tackle.

All game, the Pelham kids defended well, repulsing attack after attack. No team seems able to keep up with Pelham’s slick passing once they get the ball and get going.

According to Persanis, “Player of the match was a very hard decision. Would it go to our wings who kept some very fast, very big wingers penned up all day, or our forwards who rumbled for yard after yard, or would it be our inside backs who zipped the ball away from trouble all game? In the end, it went to our defensive leader on the team, the kid who could get it every game, Morgan Collins.”

The U13 team played another tough one in the first match of the morning, losing to the Union U13 side. The good news was Pelham improved as the game went on.

It would have been very easy for Pelham to quit, but they kept trying and trying and it showed. Once they started making their tackles and staying spread, they put on some good displays of rugby.

“This U13 team is definitely a work in progress,” said Persanis.

A couple of long tries scored by James Bristow and Aiden Sisk raised the team’s spirits.

Pelham got solid play once again from Sofia Imperato, Adam Razick, Connor Evans and Nick Lapponese.

Player of the game went to Aiden Sisk. His long run was good but what impressed the coaches most were the tackles he made.