Raoul Wallenberg Field, Washington, D.C. – The Potomac Exiles dropped its season opener in a
tough match against NOVA Rugby on a rainy Saturday in Washington, D.C. Despite early
pressure from the Exiles, NOVA got on the score sheet first with a penalty in the 8 th minute.
After back and forth play and deteriorating weather conditions, high emotions boiled over
resulting in yellow cards for both sides’ hookers in the 25 th minute. Playing 14 on 14, NOVA
found the try zone and added the conversion in the 28 th minute. PERC, bolstered by several line
breaks by center John Davis and flanker Kevin Kimble, were determined to get on the board;
however, handling errors and stout defense kept the home side out of the try zone for the first
half. NOVA snuck in one more converted try after a long run down the wing just before the
halftime whistle to put the visitors up 0-17.
It was a tale of two halves, and after a chat, the home side came out firing, enjoying large
territorial and possession advantages in the first twenty minutes after the break. Lock Pat Love
was the first man on the score sheet for the Exiles, scoring a try under the posts from close range
after a period of sustained attack in the opposition 22. Flyhalf Kenny Rothman added the
conversion to bring the score to 7-17. PERC kept the pressure on and turned a NOVA miscue
into points after impact reserve Lars Pettygrove stole a NOVA lineout at midfield. PERC
capitalized on the turnover and quickly moved the ball through the hands to wing Dom Tom who
scored in the corner in the 55 th minute. Moments later, a strong kick chase led to PERC’s third try
when flanker Kevin Kimble scored under the posts. Kenny Rothman converted the try to bring
the score to 19-17 Exiles in the 60 th minute. NOVA withstood the barrage of tries and added a
penalty and converted try in the 65 th and 75 th minutes to regain the lead and push the score to 19-
27. With short time left in the match, the men from PERC showed their determination when
wing Joenell Joseph scored in the corner in the 78 th minute to make the score 24-27. Ultimately,
the deficit was too much to overcome and the Exiles last gasp effort to drive down the field off
the restart was thwarted.
Looking ahead, PERC will travel to Norfolk to take on the Norfolk Blues on September 22 nd .