On one of the hottest and most humid days of the year, the Monmouth Renegades took the field at Thompson Park against Boston Women’s Rugby Club for their season opener. Boston has always been a force to be reckoned with, making it to the semi-final round of the national championships just last year.
Monmouth came out incredibly strong despite previous unfavorable experiences with Boston. Within the first few minutes of play, Hope Delia timed a magnificent pass to Kate Kelly capitalizing on a hole in the defense that resulted in Monmouth’s first try. The Renegades’ pack came out strong and their scrums were on point for the entire first half. This was stunningly shown after Monmouth drove in a try off a scrum, brilliantly kept under control by number 8 Elizabeth Hussey (Russinello) and touched down by Diana Valencia. The highlight of the first half was an ESPN play-of-the-week worthy kick that Kate Kelly put up into the corner to be chased down by Kate Benedit (Florida) scoring her first 15s try with Monmouth.
Halftime came with Boston putting no points on the scoreboard.
The 92-degree temperature and lack of breeze at Thompson took a bit of a toll on both teams. Water breaks became more frequent and the small numbers on the sidelines for both sides were daunting. Boston’s stamina became apparent when they took advantage of Monmouth’s visible fatigue in choice moments of the game and were able to score three tries within the half. A highlight of the second half was a gorgeous interception and run by Monmouth rookie Danielle Devinsky who let her newfound rugby instincts take over in her very first time on the pitch.
With their first game behind them, the Renegades hope to keep up the intensity as they take on Beantown; having switched into Division 1 from WPL they will surely prove to be a true test.
Tries: Stitch (1), Florida (1), Kate (2), Diana (3)
Conversions: Stitch (4)
Women of the Match: Florida (Backs), Hussey (Forwards), Diana (Boston Vote)