The Southampton Dragons rugby team followed up an impressive season-opening 60-6 victory over the Aston Bulls last week with a 30-6 road win over the Connecticut Wildcats in Fairfield, Connecticut, on Friday night.
The victory puts the Dragons at 2-0 on the season—but they will face their toughest test this weekend, when the New York Knights, who have won the American National Rugby League title two years in a row, come to Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor on Saturday at 3 p.m. It will also be Southampton’s final home game of the season.
“It’s going to be a very physical, tough game,” Southampton co-owner Craig Priestly said. “The sides are pretty much evenly matched. [The Knights] recruit very well every year. They have a lot of good players who know how to play rugby league, and the match-up is going to be a good one. It’s definitely going to be a game that should be good to watch. It’s going to be close.”
The Connecticut Wildcats were runners-up in the AMNL league championship the past two years in a row, and the Dragons initially had a tough time scoring on the Wildcats on Friday. But Dragon Andrew Maroney scored a try (worth four points each), and that opened the floodgates. Southampton scored six tries throughout the game—by Maroney, Dane Riva, Damien O’Malveney, Craig Priestly, Siose Muliumu and Sasha Laviuk.
“The first 10 minutes, were very physical. It was a very tight, very evenly played match,” Priestly said. “We broke through and scored a try, and from then on we kept at it and tired them out. We scored a few other tries and kept going from there.”
Priestly said that two local players—Riva of Sag Harbor and Isaiah Thomas of Southampton—both played extremely well. Two of the team’s older players, Muliumu and Blair Wards, also played well. The team was without a number of its Montauk Sharks members, who couldn’t make the trip to Connecticut.
The Dragons are sponsored by the Southampton Publick House, which is where the team heads to after every home game. They are also sponsored by Core Dynamics Gym in Water Mill, Hampton Racquet and Landscape Details of Sag Harbor.
For more information on the Dragons, go to southamptondragons.com.