Christendom College captured the 2021 Cardinals Collegiate Rugby Conference Championship this past weekend, defeating Washington & Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for the title.

The men’s rugby team entered the conference championship weekend with the #1 ranking in National Collegiate Rugby for their league, going 5-1 in their regular season play. Carrying that ranking gave them massive expectations heading into the weekend — expectations the team quickly lived up to in the opening match against Washington & Lee on Saturday.

After defeating Washington & Lee 60-0 in the regular season, Christendom picked up right where they left off, scoring three tries in the first half to go up 26-0. The onslaught came in the second, with Christendom scoring eight tries against Washington & Lee, including three from freshman John Ascough. Christendom ultimately won 76-0, putting them in prime position for the championship game on Sunday.

The championship game marked the second meeting between Christendom and VMI this season, after Christendom defeated them in their season opener 74-7. The playoff game proved to be a much tougher match up, with VMI taking the lead early 12-5. Led by Owen Kennedy, however, the forwards ground out a great drive to close the first half, capped by Kennedy touching the ball down to tie the game.

VMI quickly took the lead to begin the second half, before John Ascough again came through for Christendom, scoring back-to-back tries. Christopher Usher provided a spark off the bench late, scoring a try of his own before VMI attempted to make a comeback. By then it was too late, however — Ascough scored one more try to close the game, sealing a 36-26 victory for Christendom and the Cardinals Collegiate Rugby Conference Championship.

With the Championship now finished, Christendom will continue forward in its hunt for the Rugby 15s National Championship this December. They will next take on Wake Forest this Saturday, November 13 at home — the first-ever home playoff game in Christendom Athletics history.

For more information, visit christendomathletics.com.

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