After the two hour ride in the rain last week, when most other matches were cancelled because of poor field conditions, Aiken Lions High School Rugby played a match against Greenville, the top team in Division 2 of the Rugby South Carolina League.
Aiken’s coaches hoped the rain would slow down Greenville’s speedy backs, but the astroturf field at the Kroc Center still played fast. The match started with Greenville taking advantage of a couple of mistakes and turning them into a 10-0 lead. The Aiken forwards took control of the ball at the 15-minute mark of the match.
Parker Schwenker started the Aiken scoring with a 40 meter try (touchdown) on a 8-man pick up from a scrum. Ben Barry scored at the end of the half off a strong ruck. Schwenker made the conversion to have Aiken enter halftime with a 12-10 lead.
To win, the Lions had to continue to control the pace of the match with their forwards. Greenville wanted to use its speed to get the ball to the outside.
The match went back and forth with Greenville taking the lead with a couple of strong runs, 15-12. The Lions took advantage of a couple of Greenville penalties with Schwenker running a penalty into try zone and making the conversion, 19-12. After Greenville scored again, Schwenker took advantage of more penalties and powered his way into the try zone for Aiken’s final score (missing the conversion) 24-17. Greenvilled tied it up with less than five minutes to go. Aiken held on to end the match with a tie. The tie and bonus point for the four tries keeps Aiken in the hunt for one of the four playoff spots.
Gage Pattison was recognized as the man of the match with some big tackles and rucks. Newcomer Ronald Boyle was recognized by the coaches as leading a powerful scrum.