Penn State Berks Rugby Wins Division 3 National Collegiate Championship!Penn State Berks withstood 15 minutes of last minute goal line attack by Keene State College to preserve its narrow lead at 11- 6 and win its first Division 3 national championship in college rugby at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex on Sunday, April 25, 2010.
Berks had dodged a big bullet in Saturday’s semifinal match against William Paterson University when the New Jersey school stormed back to score a try on the last play of regulation to bring them within one point of Berks. The conversion kick to enable them to win the game slid off the far post by inches to preserve Berks’ victory, 17-16. Matt ‘Teddy’ Moyer, Darryl Davis, and Eric Rubik scored trys and Casey Correa made a conversion to provide the victory margin.
Berks entered the championship match against a strong Keene State team that had come back to defeat a powerful Louisiana-Lafayette team in the other semifinal on the boot of their talented English flyhalf. On the first play of the match after Berks kicked off, an alert Joe Morrione tackled, then stripped the Keene winger of the ball and ran in the try from 15 meters out. Five minutes later winger Casey Correa added a penalty kick for a Berks 8-0 lead. Berks enlarged their lead to 11-0 when winger Eric Rubik converted a monstrous 48 meter penalty kick to close out the half. In the second half, Berks played defensive rugby against the wind and the foot of the Keene flyhalf, and Keene converted two penalty kicks to tighten the score to 11-6. In the remaining 15 minutes, Berks tackled every Keene player in sight and held up the ball on several attempted Keene trys in goal to secure the dramatic victory. Berks’ flyhalf Cesare Coscia was named the Most Valuable Player of the finals. The national championship is the first for any Penn State Berks sports team and is the first Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union team to claim the championship.