Belmont defeat Needham, move to 3-0. 2nd XV blank Rockets.


April 8
Needham, MA

Belmont traveled to the home of the Rockets on a freezing, sleeting afternoon and held off a spirited home side to win, 27 points to 12.

The boys in black & maroon started off the match well, moving the ball around nicely. The conditions, however, were not ideal for a looser, riskier style and untimely offloads and a disruptive defensive system implemented by the hosts caught up with Belmont as a errant pass was kicked forward by Needham’s center, who pounced on the ball and dotted down a try for the hosts, under the posts. Converted, Needham went up 0-7 and Belmont, for the first time this season, was playing from behind.

Belmont’s senior leadership kept calm and the dust started to come off as the visitors began to play positive rugby in Needham’s end. The play was back and forth for some time until the ball moved wide into outside center Campbell McCready’s hands. With an overload on the wing McCready attacked the line and offloaded well to senior wing Luke Gallagher who touched down his first of the season in the corner to put Belmont on the board, 5-7.

Needham continued to counter punch and used their kicking game well. Fullback Peter Berens calmly recovered each and booted the ball well back into the host’s end negating any advantage the Rockets were hoping for.

Belmont’s backs simplified their game due to the conditions and holes began to open up for flyhalf Paul Campbell, who attacked the line nicely and scored his 6th of the season, almost in the exact spot as Gallagher’s, putting the Marauders up 10-7.

Belmont’s forwards pounded over the gain line all day, and eventually tight head prop Deshawn Frederick, who carried very well all day, rumbled over the try line to put the visitors up, with the conversion, 17-7 as the first half expired.

The message was simple at the intermission – simplify, secure the rucks, and run wider attacking lines. Defensively, Belmont continued to pressure the Rocket’s backline and put in strong tackles. Senior Bryce Christian, red hair ablaze, led the charge on defense as he put in strong tackles phase after phase and taking strong ball on, breaking the gainline often.

Belmont took the word from the coaches and used it well. Coming out in the 2nd stanza Belmont played their system, but Needham poured players to counter ruck and poached ball cleanly and well. They began to march down the field themselves and a nice few phases of pick and jam ball eventually opened up the defensive wall which allowed their second try, tightening the game up 17-12.

Effective kicking from the visitors and quick paced chasers allowed Belmont to move into the Rockets end. Several stolen scrums and lineouts snuffed out Needham’s momentum as Belmont began to pull away. Multiple phases, centered around the forwards allowed senior lock Nick Ryan to get his first score of the season, as the lengthy senior dove for paydirt, under the posts. Converted Belmont were up 24-12.

Belmont’s athletes, crossovers all the them, include several soccer players. Their comfort kicking, receiving, and countering is clear as they effectively marched down the park, using their boots wisely and setting up quality attacking platforms.

The final nail was a converted penalty, taken by Gallagher, to put Belmont up 27-12. Fresh legs were brought on to defend and the final whistle moved the Marauders to a 3-0 mark on the season. Their road trip continues as they travel to Dorchester to take on Boston College High School next Wednesday night.

Final Score Belmont 27 (17) Needham 12 (5)
Belmont High School
Tries – Gallagher, Campbell, Frederick, Ryan
Conversions – Chan, Campbell
Pens – Gallagher
Cards -

Tries – 12, 8
Conversions – unknown
Pens -
Cards –

In the 2nd XV game Belmont looked to develop young players and let some veterans get a real solid run out. Lead by sophomore import Mateo Saint-Ourens, wearing the #9 jumper, Belmont attacked Needham’s lines crisply. Flyahlf Luis Valenzuela did very well to clear Belmont’s lines and relieve the early pressure with multiple clever clearing kicks.

The ball moved from Saint-Ourens to Valenzeula quickly and often. Eventually finding its way into the hands of inside center Isaiah Sealey who deftly offloaded to outside center Norman Kilavatitu who scored his first of the season, putting the visitors up 5-0.

Belmont’s forwards did well to bottle up Needham’s attack and slow the ball down. Senior prop Ryan Haggerty executed a textbook poach which cleaned the ball nicely for the backs to attack. The teams traded counter punches off set pieces and open play as each began to find their legs and enjoy the open play of the game.

As the 2nd frame opened up Saint-Ourens kicked off beautifully to open space. The ball, as it went unclaimed by the hosts, bounced perfectly for junior wing Swapnil Thapa who scooped up the ball, hit the “b-button” a few times, and scored his first of the season, putting the visitors up 10-0.

The forwards were not going to allow the backs to have all the fun and they began to turn the screws on the Rockets who could not bottle up the larger Belmont pack. Sophomore lock Brendan Walsh, a tree of man, took tons of ball forward and was finally rewarded with his first try, putting Belmont up 17-0.

Final Score Belmont 17 (5) Needham 0 
Belmont High School
Tries –Kilavatitu, Thapa, Walsh
Conversions – Saint-Ourens
Pens -
Cards -

Tries –
Conversions -
Pens -
Cards –

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