Hiatus Doesn’t Slow Dragons Rugby

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After a two-week hiatus, the Southampton Dragons rugby league team returned to the field in dominating fashion with a 68-12 win over the Bucks County Sharks on Saturday in Philadelphia. The win improved the Dragons to 3-2, and if they win Saturday’s match at the 0-5 New York Raiders in New Jersey, they will reach the semifinals of the American National Rugby League. Southampton will play either the Connecticut Wildcats or Northern Virginia Eagles on Saturday, August 10. The undefeated and reigning champion New York Knights will hold the top spot in the playoffs. Depending on how the final standings play out this weekend, the Dragons could be hosting the semifinal match, but co-owner Craig Priestly said it wasn’t a given.

Southampton, as it has done a few times already this season, played with just 11 of the usually required 13 players on Saturday. The Dragons were a bit rusty the first five minutes of the match, but 10 minutes in they were able to turn things around and score their first try. Southampton led the entire match.

Priestly and Wesley Horton scored three tries while Damian O’Malveney scored two. Dave Riva scored a try, as did Brian Schact, Isaiah Thomas and Andrew Maroney. Priestly also kicked 10 goals. Riva was named the Man of the Match.

“He made some breaks for us, set up a few tries,” Priestly said. “He played very well.”

Southampton, technically, has lost only one match this summer, and that was to the undefeated Knights. After a bye two weeks ago, the Dragons were supposed to travel to the Northern Virginia Eagles, but they couldn’t get players together to make the trip and took the forfeit.

For more information on the Dragons, go to southamptondragons.com.

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