Men’s Rugby: Norwich advances to second straight USA Rugby Division II Final Four

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – The Norwich University men's rugby team is USA Rugby Division II Final Four bound again for the second straight year following a 43-19 victory on Sunday over the University of Hartford. 

Norwich Moves to 12-0

Norwich (12-0, 7-0 Rugby Northeast) outscored Hartford 31-7 in the second half to turn a 12-12 halftime tie into a convincing win by the Cadets and punch their tickets to Greenville, S.C. for the second straight year. 

Senior scrumhalf Tom St. Pierre (Warwick, R.I.) and senior lock Ryan Wagner (Newtown, Conn.) each scored two tries to lead the Cadets' offense. 

Hartford took a 5-0 lead before Wagner scored his first try of the day with a conversion by Keegan Frick (Thornton, Pa.) to take a 7-5 lead. Hartford scored again with a converted try to make it 12-7 Hawks. 

However, NU tied the match back up at the end of the half with St. Pierre scoring an unconverted try to make it 12-12. 

Norwich came out flying in the second half, scoring 31 unanswered points to take a 43-12 lead. Korbin Wayton (Southlake, Texas) started the second half scoring with a converted try by Frick to make it 19-12 Norwich. 

Wagner scored his second try of the day to push the lead to 24-12. Matthew Ulufanua (Ewa Beach, Hawaii), Taualupe Tau (East Palo Alto, Calif.) and St. Pierre each added tries as well with Frick having successful conversions on two of the three kicks. 

Hartford closed the scoring with a converted try, but it was too little too late as the Cadets won their 13th straight game and 24th in the last 25 dating back to last season. 

Norwich to face VMI in Semis Dec 2nd

Norwich will now face Virginia Military Institute (VMI) on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. in the national semifinals. VMI defeated Bloomsburg 43-5 in quarterfinal action in Maryland on Sunday. 

Defending national champion UW-Whitewater will meet North Dakota State in the other semifinal. Whitewater defeated Grand Valley State 21-12, while North Dakota State beat Illinois State 21-5. 

UW-Whitewater is the only team to beat Norwich in its last 25 matches in last year's national semifinals. Norwich rallied to finish third last year, knocking off three-time reigning champion Minnesota-Duluth in the third place game.

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