GREENVILLE, S.C. – For the second straight year the Norwich University men's rugby team finished third in the nation after the Cadets rallied to defeat No. 2-ranked North Dakota State 40-24 in the USA Rugby Division II 15s National Tournament Consolation game.
Junior Austin Manhey (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) scored three tries to lead Norwich (13-1, 7-0 Rugby Northeast) to its 24th victory in its last 26 fall 15s matches on Sunday morning at Furman University.
The Cadets got on the board first with Jay Inzenga (Exeter, N.H.) scoring an unconverted try to put Norwich up 5-0. North Dakota State scored an unconverted try of their own to tie the game at 5-5.
NDSU scored again with a converted try this time to take a 12-5 lead. However, Manhey seized the momentum back for Norwich at the end of the half with a converted try, kick by Keegan Frick (Thornton, Pa.) to tie the game up at 12-12.
Frick gave Norwich the lead again with a penalty kick and then Manhey scored again with a successful conversion to push the lead to 22-12. NDSU added an unconverted try to make it 22-17, before Manhey scored an unconverted try and Frick hit another penalty kick to give the Cadets a 30-17 lead.
Nate Rolling (Taylorsville, Utah) scored a try and NDSU added another try to close the scoring with the Cadets taking the 40-24 victory.
"After our epic match yesterday, the boys showed great character in defeating a very good North Dakota State team," said NU head coach Bob Weggler. "I am so proud of them and their resiliency to fight back as a team in the consolation final."