The 14th annual War at the Shore event was the venue for the first tie of the American National Rugby League season with the Connecticut Wildcats and Aston Bulls playing themselves to a standstill in a dramatic 18-18 draw Saturday in Sea Isle City, NJ. The Bulls came back from an 18-0 deficit to force the game into extra time, but in the end neither team could break the deadlock. The Cats were without their captain and USA Tomahawk Curtis Cunz, while the Bulls were inspired by veteran Jeff Preston, who scored one of his team’s tries. Both teams had several field goal opportunities in extra time that could have sealed a golden point victory, although each side elected to go for the winning try in an effort to earn a bonus point W.
Finally, in the dying stages of the contest, Aston did take a last ditch shot at a golden point drop goal only to see it shy away from the uprights to leave the scores knotted as the final whistle blew. Connecticut’s five-eighth Charlie Rizzo was among his team’s standouts on the day after turning in a grafting performance. For the first time in its 14-year history, the AMNRL’s showpiece event included exhibition Sevens matches. The New York Knights fielded two sides, while the Northern Raiders and the Bulls also entered teams. One of the Knights’ teams dominated the opposition; the other lost to the Raiders and then beat the Bulls. There was also a Sevens ‘Legends’ team that included AMNRL pioneers David Niu, Rob Balachandran and Hayden James.
A full day of rugby league fun was enjoyed by a big seaside crowd with kids of all ages playing Eagletag throughout the day!