The Darien High School Rugby Club defeated previously unbeaten Delbarton, N.J., 20-19, in a rugby game Saturday in Morristown, N.J. The Blue Wave's relentless pressure, at set pieces and in the loose, helped them knock off the Metropolitan region's top-ranked rugby club.
It was a cliffhanger from start to finish. Darien opened the scoring when captain Sam McCarthy scored an early try, after a drive close to the Delbarton line. McCarthy added the conversion to put New Canaan up 7-0. Delbarton replied, tying the game until McCarthy once again scored a try, assisted by the close support of the Blue Wave forwards, to give Darien a 12-7 halftime lead.
Unsettled at the prospect of losing its unbeaten status, Delbarton began the second half in ferocious form, benefiting from a defensive lapse by Darien, which gave Delbarton an easy try and a 14-12 lead. The Blue Wave replied with characteristic determination, driving Delbarton back on strong forward plays and tackling furiously in defense. Their efforts were rewarded by another McCarthy try in the middle of the second half, which put Darien in the lead once again, 17-14.
The tough, attritional tempo of the game continued. Despite the Blue Wave's tenacity in defense, Delbarton scored a further try with 10 minutes remaining in the game, making it 19-17. However, the Blue Wave refused to be beaten and launched a series of attacks against a tiring Delbarton side. Delbarton, under enormous Darien pressure, gave away a penalty close to its line with only minutes to go.
McCarthy was once again on target to make it 20-19 for Darien. A penalty attempt by Delbarton on the last play of the game proved unsuccessful.
Following hard on the heels of the Blue Wave's record victory over Keio Academy two weeks ago, Darien ruggers remain unbeaten in the NY Metropolitan league. The victory over Delbarton, which had until Saturday won all their league games, is proof that the Blue Wave is becoming a rugby force to be reckoned with in Connecticut and beyond.
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