Glendale, Colo. – The Lt. Col. Kevin Shea Memorial Rugby Cup is returning to Annapolis for the fifth straight season after a dominant 71-0 victory for Navy men’s rugby (5-0, 3-0) over rival Air Force.
“It’s always special to beat Air Force but even more special this year as we started with a young team and had a number of guys making their first varsity appearance,” said director of rugby Gavin Hickie. “I’m very happy that we managed the travel, altitude, weather and substitutes to ensure we picked up the pace in the second half and keep Air Force scoreless.”
The two squads remained in a scoreless tie through the first ten minutes of action but Navy’s top-scorer Lewis Gray put the Mids on the board with a try in the tenth minute for his tenth score of the season. A successful conversion kick from Roanin Krieger afterward put Navy up 7-0.
Navy added a pair of tries over the next eight minutes, getting scores from William Webb in the 13th minute and Ratu Osea Melibua in the 18th minute to take a three-score lead. Team captain Jack McMahon found the try zone for the first time since week one in the 38th minute and another conversion kick from Krieger gave Navy a 24-point lead at the half.
Navy’s offense showed no signs of slowing down after the break to score an additional 47 points, which is tied for the second most scored in one half this season. Vaughn Schmitz got things going in the second half with a try in the 42nd minute and a conversion kick from Krieger gave Navy a 31-0 lead. Osea Melibua scored his second try of the match four minutes later to put Navy ahead by 36.
Air Force managed to keep Navy at bay until the 54th minute when Ryan Bullock found the try zone for the first time this season. Krieger’s conversion kick put the Mids up 43-0. Navy hit the 50 point mark in the 62nd minute on a penalty try after a scrum infringement by Air Force.
Sean MacLaney added a try in the 68th minute for his first score of the year and another conversion from Krieger gave Navy a commanding 57-point advantage. Gray and Webb capped off the scoring with a try each in the final ten minutes, and an additional four points from Krieger on two made conversion kicks gave Navy its third highest point total of the season.
Despite not finding the try zone in the match, freshman Roanin Krieger led Navy in scoring for the second straight match thanks to seven made conversion kicks to finish with 14 points. Lewis Gray, William Webb and Ratu Osea Melibua all scored a pair of tries to finish with ten points each. Gray’s two tries brings his season total to 11 this season and now leads the Mids with 87 points. Osea Melibua scored his first tries since the season opener to bring his total to five this season. Webb’s two tries now gives him three on the year.
The match marks the third time this season that Navy has had at least four players score ten plus points in a match. Navy also earned its third shutout victory of its inaugural season and has allowed just 15 points in five matches.
Men’s rugby returns to the Prusmack Rugby Complex on Saturday, Oct. 8, for a conference matchup with Penn State. Kickoff versus the Nittany Lions is scheduled for noon.
10:15 – Navy – Try – Lewis Gray (5-0)
Conversion – Roanin Krieger (7-0)
13:01 – Navy – Try – William Webb (12-0)
18:11 – Navy – Try – Ratu Osea Melibua (17-0)
38:00 – Navy – Try – Jack McMahon (22-0)
Conversion – Roanin Krieger (24-0)
42:30 – Navy – Try – Vaughn Schmitz (29-0)
Conversion – Roanin Krieger (31-0)
46:35 – Navy – Try – Ratu Osea Melibua (36-0)
54:46 – Navy – Try – Ryan Bullock (41-0)
Conversion – Roanin Krieger (43-0)
62:40 – Navy – Penalty Try (50-0)
68:55 – Navy – Try – Sean MacLaney (55-0)
Conversion – Roanin Krieger (57-0)
72:30 – Navy – Try – Lewis Gray (62-0)
Conversion – Roanin Krieger (64-0)
76:55 – Navy – Try – William Webb (69-0)
Conversion – Roanin Krieger (71-0)