Rowan rugby ended the conference season on a high note, knocking off the Temple Owls 54-24 on Saturday.
The game did not go all Rowan’s way by any means, however. As with much of the season, the Profs got off to a sluggish start and found themselves under immediate pressure. Barely five minutes into the game, the Profs were down 7-0 after Temple scored a well-worked try. Things worsened shortly afterwards when Temple again crossed the Rowan try line to make the score 12-0.
Rowan righted the ship soon afterwards, however, with a beautiful team try rounded off in the corner by senior captain, Matt Rhodes. The Profs kept up the attacking pressure and soon began running in tries with regularity. The best of the bunch involved a breakout by freshman 8man, and man of the match, Akil DeBruhl, which saw him run through several Temple defenders and then grubber past the fullback for senior flanker, Sam Portner, to dot down. The Profs were flying, but controversy soon followed. Freshman flyhalf, Hunter Musson was injured by a Temple player after Musson kicked a conversion in front of the posts. The flagrant foul resulted in a yellow card against the Temple player.
The half ended with Rowan in a commanding 33-12 lead, but the second half began poorly. The loss of Musson affected the Rowan attack significantly. A backline reshuffle led to a stop start game and Temple ran in two further tries. Senior flyhalf, Mike Ottino, however, came off the bench and brought stability to the team with some beautifully weighted attacking kicks. The resulting field position allowed the Profs to go back on the attack and soon the team was clicking again. Rowan ran in two more tries (each converted by center John Dormann) to make the game safe. The final try came, fittingly, from DeBruhl who had one of the most dominant individual displays from a Rowan player seen in some time.
The tryscorers were: Rhodes (2), Pendzik, McDowell, Watt, Portner, Nucci and DeBruhl. Musson converted 3 tries and Dormann converted 4.
It was a good win for the young team (a combined total of nine freshman and sophomores started the game for Rowan) to build on going into 2019.
Thanks to all of those who came out to support the team this year!