Front Royal, VA--Crusader Rugby fell in hard fought game this past weekend. Their opponent, Southern VA, came into the game undefeated, heavy favorites of the match. The Crusaders scored the first points of the match, after a foul by Southern VA Vince Duhig converted on a penalty kick to give the Crusaders the early 3-0 lead. Crusader, Patrick Newton, came off the bench halfway through the first half and scored a try that regained the lead for the team. At the end of the first half the Crusaders had fought their way to an impressive 10-5 lead.
Throughout the second half the teams traded scores, both teams claiming the lead numerous different times. With the scored tied at 13 all, Will Arnold broke through the Southern VA defense to score a clutch try giving the Crusaders an 18-13 lead. The Crusaders fought to hold the lead, but with 6 minutes left Southern VA stormed into the try zone, and converted on their two-point post-kick, retaking the lead 20-18. Knowing the end of the game was near, the Crusaders put it all on the field, regaining possession and pushing to half field, but then they were called for a controversial forward pass. The penalty gave Southern VA the ball and the Crusaders, disheartened by the call, had no energy to stop their opponents. The Crusaders dropped the game by a final score of 27-18.
Although they ended up loosing the, the team gained much needed experience. They were able to play a superior team and take them down to the wire, the game being decided in the final 10 minutes. With the loss the Crusaders drop to 3-2 on the year. The team has one more game against Emory & Henry before heading into conference tournament play.