CLAYTON, NC – This past Saturday, the Clayton Bootleggers split a double header with Duke Grads in front of fans at East Clayton Community Park. The rugby day festivities kicked off with the Clayton Copperheads High School JV side hosting Wilmington. The next match on tap was the Clayton 1st XV as they took on Duke Grads. The Bootleggers ran in 13 tries en route to a 79-5 win. The Clayton 2nd XV finished by playing against the Grads and lost 40-0. The big win was a far cry from when the two teams met for the first time less than a year ago. A 2nd half surge from Clayton gave the Bootleggers a 27-15 win in a hard fought match.
In the first match for the men, the Bootleggers made their intentions known right out of the gate as the squad looked to play an open style of rugby and put Duke under pressure. It paid off in the 3rd minute when wing Hunter Brookshire scored in the corner to give Clayton a 5-0 lead. Prop Nick Taylor followed with another try in the 7th minute and then the floodgates opened. Flanker and Team Captain Simon Potter and flyhalf Brian Beauregard each scored two tries apiece during the next 15 minute span to extend the Bootlegger’s lead to 31-0.
After setting up the first try of the match, inside center Manosh Premachandra got in on the action scoring in the 26th minute. Wing Anthony Crumity capped off the 1st half scoring with a long run down the sidelines to put Clayton up 50-0 at the break.
The second half started off with much of the same as Potter added his third try of the match. The next try was the highlight of the day as the Bootleggers took the next kickoff, went through one phase before lock Jason Schurr lumbered 50 meters for a try. Outside center Matt Temesy followed a few minutes later with a try on a slick backline move to give the Bootleggers a 67-0 lead.
With the match in hand, Head Coach JG Van Graan went to the bench rolling in the subs. Falnker Daniel Twiddy and lock Travis Morrison each making their rugby and Bootlegger debuts.
Duke used the shift in lineup to mount a strong attack deep in Bootlegger territory. After a series of penalties, Duke crashed over the line from just a few meters out to deny Clayton a shutout. The Bootleggers bounced back with tries from wing Chris Crumity and flanker Elliot Lindley to close out the scoring with the Bootleggers winning 79-5.
“It was a solid effort,” said Team Captain Simon Potter. “The first half went really well. Guys knowing their roles, carrying well, and set pieces were pretty solid. We could have gotten away from the game plan trying to score on every touch, but they stuck to it and went through the phases.”
Duke was gracious enough to provide a match for the Clayton 2nd XV and an inexperienced group of Bootleggers took the pitch looking to put in some valuable minutes. Duke bounced back strong in the second match scoring early and often on their way to a 40-0 win. Despite the lopsided scoreline, it was an important experience for a number of young players that are very new to the sport.
“The 2nds took some lumps, but it was a valuable experience,” said Head Coach JG Van Graan. “They learn from this and come back strong. It is especially exciting to see so many new players.”
The Bootleggers return to action in two weeks when they travel to Savannah to play in the St. Patrick’s Day Tournament, one of the largest rugby tournaments on American soil.
Clayton 1st XV 79 Duke Grads 5
1: Taylor 2: Ryan 3: Cosgrove 4: Cunningham 5: Schurr 6: Rogers 7: Potter (C) 8: Hardy 9: Fitzpatrick 10: Beauregard 11: Brookshire 12: Premachandra 13: Temesy 14: A. Crumity 15: Haskins
Subs: Dixon, Lindley, Stillwell, Allen, Bevelacqua, Clay, Morrison, Koczanski, C. Crumity, Smallwood, Braun
Tries: Potter (3), Beauregard (2), Brookshire, Taylor, Premachandra, A. Crumity, Schurr, Temesy, C. Crumity, Lindley
Conv: Fitzpatrick 1/6, Beauregard 6/7
Duke Grads 40 Clayton 2nd XV 0
1: Koczanski 2: Stephens 3: Ellis 4: Morrison 5: Allen 6: Roggow 7: Artos 8: Dixon (C) 9: Hile 10: Rinehart 11: W. Smith 12: Clay 13: Lindley 14: Tansey 15: Braun
Subs: Bevelacqua, Hardy, Cosgrove, Klingenbeck, Webster, Niemiller, Bennett, Kapusta, Williams