Irish Stay Undefeated with win over Dayton

September 25, 2016Justin Hickey

On a picture perfect night, the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish rugby teams completed a double victory over University of Dayton as the 1st team beat the Flyers 41-19 in the main event, and the reserve team put in a dominant performance in a 36-9 win to cap of the evening. Following a wonderful rendition of the star spangled banner, sung by The Echoes, both teams were ready to put their perfect records on the line.

The hosts were slow to get on the scoreboard, but it was only a matter of time, as the Irish made their intentions known early with some very physical and agressive play. It was the Flyers who had the first opportunity for points at the 12 minute mark when they opted for goal after an Irish penalty, but the kick was unsuccessful. It seemed to wake up the home team who threathened the Dayton line for nearly the next 10 minutes, before junior prop Jack Mitchell crashed over from short range to put the Irish on the board. Junior fullback Dan Conmy added the extras, giving the team a 7-0 lead. The next quarter of play was all Notre Dame as just 5 minutes later Dan Conmy entered the defensive line deep in the Irish zone and intercepted a telegraphed pass, and raced 70 meters for the try. Conmy converted his own score, and extended the lead to 14-0. The Irish continued to pressure the Flyer both on attack and in defense, and it was pressure from senior captain #8 Patrick McMahon that forced an error in the Dayton lineout, giving the team possession close to the opposition line. Following a Flyer penalty, Jack Mitchell took a quick tap penalty and dove over for his second of the night. Conmy just missed the difficult conversion, but the Irish widened the gap to 19-0 with 6 minutes remaining in the first half. That proved to be enough time for the Irish to add one more score, as just 2 minutes later, graduate center Riley Wirth chipped a kick through the Flyer defensive line for his center partner, senior Carter Bench to collect, before sophomore flanker Mack Vanek arrived in support to finish the try. Conmy hit his third conversion of the night, giving the Irish a 26-0 lead going into half time.

The pom squad provided the half time entertainment for the large Irish contingent. 

The 2nd half began with a rejuvenated effort by the Flyers, who forced some early Irish errors. Only one minute in, some careless handling led to an opportunistic Flyer score, putting the visitors on the board for the first time, 26-5. 8 minutes later the guests struck again, this time converting the points after, narrowing the Irish lead to 26-12. Substitutions followed for the Irish as sophomore flyhalf Luke Dennahy, junior center Bobby Hogan, and  sophomore flanker Matt Strosser replaced freshman flyhalf Elton Chang, Wirth and sophomore flanker Sam Bishop. Dayton #4 received a yellow card for dangerous play, and Hogan made his presence known, punishing the short sided Flyers by racing a try into the corner. Conmy was unable to connect on the difficult touch line conversion, but the home team added 5 more points, bringing the lead to 31-12 at the 55 minute mark. Still a man down, the Flyers were able to apply enough pressure to break the Irish line, and add a converted try, bringing the score to 31-19 with one quarter to play. The Irish regained controll however, adding further subsitutes frehman lock David Prybil Pierdinock and sophomore wing Caleb Vanderloop replaced sophomore lock Griffin Gilmore and senior wing Eric Mitchell. Conmy kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty kick at the 67 minute mark, bringing the score to 34-19. With 5' minutes to play, Dayton #4 only just returning to the field was issued a 2nd yellow card, now a red card, meaning his night was over, and the Flyers would finish the match with 14 men. The Irish would capitalize once again, and after a series of multi phase play and some nifty handling, senior hooker Luc Joseph raced in for the final score. Conmy would convert, giving the Irish a well played 41-19 win.

Next week the Fighting Irish take their 3-0 record on the road against Midwest powerhouse Bowling Green State University at 1pm on Saturday October 1. Follow @ndrugby on twitter for live scoring and updates.

Score Recap:

41(26) - (0)19

Tries: Mitchell (2), Conmy, Vanek, Hogan,  Joseph

Conversions: Conmy (4)

Penalty: Conmy

Roster:

1 Tony Anonia, Jr.

2 Luc Joseph, Sr.

3 Jack Mitchell, Jr.

4 Griffin Gilmore, So.

5 Joe Cook, So.

6 Sam Bishop, So.

7 Mac Vanek, So.

8 Pat McMahon, Sr. (c)

9 Jake Randle, Fr.

10 Elton Chang, Fr.

11 Casey Nash, Sr.

12 Riley Wirth, Gr.

13 Carter Bench, Sr.

14 Eric Mitchell, Sr.

15 Dan Conmy, Jr.

Reserves: John Gadient, Sr., Aristotle Zervoudakis, Jr. David Prybil Pierdinock, Fr., Matt Strosser, So., Luke Dennahy, So., Caleb Vanderloop, So.