Belmont defeat Boston College High 31-5; 2nd XV edged out + article & images


Belmont High School
Belmont, MA
April 30, 2014

Once again playing in difficult conditions that would seem to inhibit their style Belmont RFC overcame the elements and defeated Boston College High School 31-5 in their final regular season home game.

The win put Belmont at 6-1 (3-1) on the regular season and position them well to be near the top of the league table heading in to the playoffs in two week’s time. The win will most certainly guarantee a home playoff game – whether that be a quarterfinal or semi-final match is yet to be determined.

The regular season finale is against the always challenging St. John’s Prep. Belmont have only defeated St. John’s Prep once and that was a home match. Next week’s contest is pivotal in deciding Belmont’s placement in the Division 1 playoffs.

Always a fun match, with physical but clean, respectable rugby BC High threw everything they could at the hosts. In the end the defensive pressure from Belmont, especially the center combination of Nick Pearson & JD Niles, made things challenging for the Eagles as they could not put together sustained periods of attacking rugby.

Belmont looked to run wide and offload despite the sideways rain and unseasonable chill. The running rugby style opened up the scoring as multiple phases of pressure off a scrum center and subsequent offloads found the ball in flyhalf Paul Campbell’s hands. The junior has started to develop a style unto his own and was more active in this match, attacking and forcing the defense to stay honest. Campbell dotted down the match’s first try in the 8th minute.

With Belmont up 5-0 the defense began to impose their will. The home side were able to keep the visitors pinned deep in their own territory, forcing the Eagles to relieve pressure and put the ball back into Belmont’s hands.

Off set pieces Belmont were able to once again provide a stable platform for attack. An area that had troubled Belmont, the scrums & lineouts have begun to be an area of strength.

Off a mid-field scrum Belmont ran a set move and Pearson, playing the #12 jumper, was able to notch the second try for the home side. Converted, Belmont jumped to an early 12-0.

BC High would not go undeterred and they put up several phases of sustained pressure, slowing the game down and attacking Belmont’s undersized pack. Several pick & go’s from the base provided some momentum for the Eagles and it seemed that the pressure was tilting. Stout defense in their own end, however, slowed the visitor’s attack and turnovers off sloppy ball allowed Belmont to counter attack.

Several phases allowed Belmont’s open side flanker, Dom Owens-Moore – in his debut as a 1st side starter – to make a rumbling run up the pitch. The sustained pressure allowed #8 Barrett Lyons to dot down another try as the half was expiring. Campbell converted and Belmont went up 19-0.

As the second half began Belmont began running on fresh legs. Once again their depth proved an advantage as six forward reserves allowed starters extra recovery time and gave a needed pop to the set piece.

Several individual runs by Belmont turned the ball over and BC High threatened in the early frames of the 2nd half. Lyons, running with penache again, was stopped twice on BC’s goal line. The visitors kept throwing their bodies into tackles & counter rucks, making Belmont truly earn each run.

Confident counter attacking by fullback Luke Gallagher gave Belmont a comfortable platform as well and allowed the defensive line to rush up without concerning themselves with deep support.

The fourth try for Belmont came off another set piece as halfback Darren Chan, who distributed with aplomb and confidence, zinged the ball to Campbell who set up outside-center Niles. The senior sliced & diced his way to paydirt.

Comfortably up 26-0 more reserves poured on for Belmont. The final score for Belmont of the night came off a nifty counter attack by Pearson. Using his support as a dummy runner the senior skipper trotted 70 meters for his 2nd of the night.

To the visitor’s credit, they did not cease their attack. Belmont, looking to pitch a shut out, played a prolonged period of defense in the last 10 minutes. Several penalties put them on the back foot and Boston College kept attacking. Lyons, at the center of Belmont’s defense, was penalized and yellow carded.

Down to 14 men Belmont gave up a late score to BC.

It was a complete performance by the hosts and they look to build momentum into next week as they travel for the final of the regular season vs. St. John’s Prep.

Check out a write up & images from the Belmontian.

Final Score: Belmont 31 (19) Boston College High School 5 (0)

Tries: N. Pearson 2, P. Campbell, J. Niles, B. Lyons
Conversions: P. Campbell 3
Cards: Lyons (Yellow 61st minute)

Boston College High School
Tries: M. Chapel

In an abbreviated 2nd XV’s match Belmont dropped a tough contest to the Eagles, 0-10.

The hosts played well, but spent much of the first frame defending. Strong rucking by the visitors provided them with plenty of clean attacking ball. Belmont’s line speed slowed and the Eagles were able to punch in the first try, going up 0-5.

Belmont would not be deterred and strong tackling and defense by Bobby Moran & Omar Escobar off the flanks provided a spark for the boys in black.

Offensively, #9 Ken Dahal moved the ball well and gave flyhalf Grant “Double G” Gilbert plenty of chances to slice & dice.

BC was able to slow Belmont’s attack down, however, through effective counter-rucking and flooding the breakdown.

Belmont struggled to put together a cohesive attack, but did have phases of clean rugby. Off set piece, especially the scrums, Belmont was dangerous as sophomore Lowell Haska showed when he scooped up a sloopy scrum from the #8 position, trounced two defenders and ran past another 3. Sadly the elements got the better of him and as he went to make his finishing move the ball slipped away.

Belmont kept pressure, but BC was able to capitalize once more using their larger tight five around the fringes.

As the rain picked up Belmont kept looking to mark the scoreboard, but the bigger BC pack held the line and kept their shut out.

Final Score: Belmont 0  Boston College High School 10 (5)

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