Late Heroics Get the Job Done Against Rocky Gorge
We promised a great day of rugby ahead of our doubleheader with Rocky Gorge and we did not disappoint. The Club went 1-1 on the day with both matches being decided by a try in the final minutes.
The Exiles started off the day with a back and forth match that saw the teams trade tries for the entire match. Rocky Gorge got on the board first with a try in the 12th minute that was quickly followed by a try from Chris Wiggins in the 16th. Danny G added a penalty kick in the 31st minute and after a 37th minute try for Rocky Gorge made it appear as though the visitors would be taking a lead into halftime Dan Berger scored to end the half and help put the Exiles up 17-12 at intermission. Rocky Gorge got off to a good start in the second half with a quick try and a 17-19 lead but Danny was quick to put River back on top with another penalty to make it 20-19. Things slowed down a bit from there with no scoring for the next 23 minutes but that was really just the teams ramping up for an incredible finish. Ben Janssen scored a try in the 70th minute to extend the lead to 25-19 but Gorge answered back almost immediately to take a 25-26 lead and just when it looked like time might run out on us Ben scored his second try of the match in the 79th minute to make it 30-26. Alex Walsh stepped in to provide an extra cushion and the boys held on for a 32-26 victory.
Coach Jamie described the match as heart in mouth stuff and indicated that we dominated for about 20 separate 3 minute periods. When our opponents had the ball our defense was generally able to shut them down, however too many of our periods of dominance ended in mistakes and turnovers which a quality team like Gorge will gouge you on in the open field. Jamie was pleased to see the team fight back after giving up the lead in the 70th minute and reclaim it with a late try.
Man of the match: Ben Janssen’s first half was quiet by his standards, but in the second half he roared back with great leadership and he led the comeback by scoring our final two tries.
Tries: Ben Janssen (2), Chris Wiggins (1), Dan Berger (1)
Cons: Danny Giannascoli (2), Alex Walsh (1)
Pens: Danny Giannascoli (2)
The Troop (D2) match was another nail biter and was really a tail of two halves. In the first period tries from Kyle Kent and Bouba Bangoura staked us to a 14-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes followed by a try from Rocky Gorge and a score from Kobie Tuckson before half time to give us a 21-5 lead at the break. Rocky Gorge got off to a great start in the second half with 2 tries in the first 15 minutes to make it 21-19. A 61st minute try from Matt Rhodes made it 28-19, thanks to a 4th successful conversion from Ryan Tower, and was almost enough to deliver a victory but unfortunately the boys weren’t able to see it through as Gorge scored in the 70th and 77th minute to earn a 28-33 victory.
Coach Jamie stated that we had some periods of play and our young talent shone by doing what Gorge had done to use in the first game and slicing them up in open field opportunities. Unfortunately when Rocky Gorge came back hard in the second half our defense didn’t stand up as well as we would have wanted it to.
Man of the Match: Shared between Matt Rhodes and Bouba Bangoura who each showed some monster ball carrying and scored tries on the day.
Tries: Bouba Bangoura (1), Kobie Tuckson (1), Kyle Kent (1), Matt Rhodes (1)
Cons: Ryan Tower (4)
Bryce Lanhart – Minnesota Duluth, Metropolis
Chris Wiggins – Wilmington, Delaware Black Foxes
John Davis – Capital Selects
Season Scoring Totals:
T: Alex Ruiz (2), Ben Janssen (2), Danny Giannascoli (2) Jack Ramirez (2), Aaron Gray (1), Chase Haberstroh (1), Chris Wiggins (1), Dan Berger (1), Jeff Hall (1)
C: Danny Giannascoli (7), Alex Ruiz (3), Alex Walsh (1)
P: Danny Giannascoli (5)
T: Bouba Bangoura (2), Kyle Kent (2), Matt Rhodes (2), Anthony Sessa (1), Kobie Tuckson (1), Matt Zebrowski (1),
C: Ryan Tower (6), Jon Ahern (1), Kyle Kent (1),
Huge thanks to all of our camera people!
Gary Citrone’s album is here: https://lensdump.com/a/I7MYe
Dipin George’s album is here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/koyTYKrAL3K5k4FTA
Lisa Berger has posted her photos to our Facebook page.