An explosive second-half offensive display helped St. Bonaventure men's rugby beat rival University at Buffalo 48-31 at the Marra Athletics Complex on Saturday, September 10.
In both team's Rugby East opener, junior wing Alex Alonso scored two consecutive tries in the first half to give the Bonnies a 10-7 lead early on. Tries by sophomore fullback Matthew Bergstol and freshman reserve center Tommy Anderson, both converted by sophomore fly half Christian Artuso, brought St. Bonaventure into halftime with a 24-12 lead.
Buffalo started the second half with two quick converted tries, putting the Bulls ahead 26-24.
Becoming bogged down in their attack, a strategy change by Bonnies' head coach Tui Osborne saw Artuso move to scrum half and fellow sophomore Eamonn Matthews switch to fly half.
"It's something we worked on during the week since they do certain things at different positions better," said Coach Osborne of the planned change. "It showed in the match when they switched and the tempo of our attack improved."
From then on it was all Bonnies for the final 30 minutes. Matthews scored a pair of tries, along with tries from forwards Alfonso De Falco (senior, lock) and Kyle Ciquera (freshman, prop). Artuso added two more conversions, bringing the score line to 48-26. Buffalo would score a try at the final whistle, making it 48-31 Bonnies.
St. Bonaventure will travel to West Virginia on Saturday, September 17 to take on the Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals at 3:00 p.m. in another Rugby East contest.
Tries: Alonso (2), Matthews (2), Bergstol, Anderson, De Falco, Ciquera
Conversions: Artuso (4-8)