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Christendom wins national collegiate championship in rugby

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Christendom College in Front Royal defeated New Mexico Tech 34-29 in the National Collegiate Rugby Cohen Cup Championship in Houston Dec. 12.

The win marked the second National Championship for Christendom rugby, after they won the 2017 7s Championship in Philadelphia in overtime.

Sunday’s victory marked the Crusaders’ first title in 15s competition, in which the teams are larger (15 players rather than seven) and the halves are longer than in 7s play.

With the title, Christendom realized the team’s potential that was signaled by its top spot in the National Collegiate Rugby pre-season rankings. They went on to post a 7-1 regular season record.

Led by team captain Owen Kennedy and standout performances from Matthew Westin, Thomas Santschi, Hugh Wingate, John Ascough and others, Christendom qualified for postseason play and survived multiple rounds of the playoffs, winning a conference and regional championship on the path to Houston’s Aveva Stadium. Kennedy was named tournament MVP.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021