KATONAH, N.Y. -- Following three hard days of training at the Reggio Emilia complex in Italy, The Harvey School’s rugby team played a combined U-16 and U-18 Reggio squad Sunday and earned an impressive 41-7 victory. Harvey’s coach Phil Lazzaro said opening the season against Reggio was “a big test.”
Off the game’s kickoff the Cavaliers scrambled to hold possession against a quick Reggio side. Following some back and forth play, Harvey would strike first in the 12th minute of play. Senior captain Christian Artuso moved the pack and backs down the field in some well-strung phases of rugby. Camped near the Reggio 10 meter line, Artuso popped a kick over the tight defense and recovered the ball while crashing into the tryzone.
Possession traded hands for the next clip of the match as Harvey had difficulty fielding some well-placed Reggio clearance kicks which cost the Cavaliers some momentum. In the 27th minute Christian Harrington, a senior captain, poached a ball from a Reggio carrier and rumbled 30 meters. Before he was tackled he found a racing Artuso who put Harvey up by 12 points.
Nearing halftime Harvey was rewarded for physical play and Harrington scored to give the Cavaliers a 19-point lead at the half. Harvey stuck to the game plan to keep the ball tight and the team’s discipline and physical play paid off. First year players Chauncey Dewey and Nathan Gold played well.
The second half started off well for Harvey with Artuso’s perfectly placed kick to steal possession. The forwards advanced the ball and Artuso eventually found Charlie Seider who sprinted in for a score.
In the 40th minute Artuso found a gap off of a ruck and nimbly offloaded a pass to a hard charging Harrington who quickly punched through a weary Reggio defense. While being tackled he also found senior captain Kieran O’Connor who raced the final 20 meters for his first ever score.
In the 47th minute Artuso completed his hat trick and in the 56th minute Artuso found Shariff Koonce off a penalty and Koonce scored his first points of the year. Reggio scored in the 66th minute of play.
The 10-day rugby team trip to Italy is not all play. The Cavaliers also worked on a community service project at a local engineering school. They open their regular season April 8 at home against Xavier High School.