Three years ago, the Raleigh Venom dominated Division II with only 16-17 players per match. USA Rugby moved the team up to Division 1 at the start of the 2015-2016 season and Venom answered by doubling their recruiting efforts and finishing #3 in the Nation. The 2016-2017 season, boasts a CIPP’d roster of 49 and a season record of 23-3 with notable wins against last year’s runner up, Chicago North Shore, the WPL’s DC Furies and this year’s D1 College Elite National Champions, Penn State.
Conference rival, NOVA, gave Venom their toughest competition of the season in the final weeks, defeating them in two close matches, both in their final conference game and in the Mid-Atlantic Championship match. But, due to their strong performance in the Gold Cup, Venom advanced as a play-in team for the 4th seed of National Quarter-Finals. On Saturday, Venom defeated rising WPL team, Beantown, 41-10. Sunday provided Venom with the opportunity for a rematch against NOVA.
After scoring off of a penalty kick in the first few minutes of the game, the first half turned into a defensive battle with a half-time score of Venom 3 – NOVA 0. The second half provided a little more back and forth with NOVA scoring twice but never taking the lead. A kick to touch provided the final whistle and a Venom National Semi-Final win with a final score of 18-10.
VENOM GOES TO NATIONALS
Venom’s dominating season has earned them the opportunity to travel to the National Championship match in Glendale, CO. But, Venom needs your help to get there and any amount will help! As a growing sport, rugby is largely unfunded and most travel costs come from the player’s pockets. But, you can make a tax-free donation to their travel fund as Raleigh Rugby Football Club is a registered non-profit organization.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the continued support of our club, old girls/boys, friends and fans. Thank you in advance, for always supporting and for helping us achieve our dreams.” – Raleigh Venom