DIII run riot in Buffalo
NYRC’s DIII side made the long journey upstate to face Southtowns Saxons in their 2nd pool game of the DIII Challenge Cup. Conditions were perfect for running rugby and New York capitalized on them in abundance
NYRC opened up the scoring with barely 2 minutes on the clock from their first scrum. Number 8 William Hutch picked the ball up from the base of the scrum just outside the 22 and his quick pick caught the defense off guard before he handed off two tacklers before touching down. Graeme Braidwood added the conversion to make it 7-0.
From the restart NYRC tried to counter from deep but were stopped by the Saxons. Charlie Stanley kicked the ball deep and a good chase forced Saxons into a clearance. After the forwards secured some quick ball, Stanley passed to Dean Ashton who sliced open the defense with a 40 metre break from inside his own half. As the back 3 pushed up to make the tackle he put in a grubber behind the winger which Chris O’Leary picked up. The flanker was tackled 5 metres short but popped up to Kendall Nunn and the winger brushed off 2 tacklers to score to make it 12-0
From the kickoff New York would score again. The pack hit a number of rucks on the right hand side of the field, which pulled in the Saxons defense before Stanley called for backs ball. He hit Ashton on a short crash and the outside centre tore through the middle of the Saxons line going 30 metres before popping off to Baptiste Julia who passed to Neil Howard who in turn found Cesar Rosado out wide. The young winger stepped his man superbly and scored out wide to make it 17-0
Hutch grabbed his 2nd try in the 13th minute. NYRC won the lineout and moved the ball out quickly from the tap down. O’Neill passed to Stanley who found the Number 8 on a short line 30 metres out. Hutch burst through a gap between two defenders and then used his pace to beat two defenders close to the try line to score under the posts. Braidwood kicked the extra’s to make it 24-0
Seven minutes later the lead would be extended further. Saxons had a period of sustained pressure and were looking to create something from inside their own half but they ended up knocking the ball on just short of their own 40. The forwards snapped up the spill and turned the ball over quickly. O’Neill found Howard who chipped over the onrushing defense. The ball landed just short of the try line but the bounce of the ball deceived the Saxons full back and Howard kicked the ball past him and dived on the loose ball to score. Braidwood added the conversion to make it 31-0
Hutch would have his hat-trick sewn up with barely a quarter of the game gone with a carbon copy of his first try. Another solid scrum saw him pick up from the base and the covering defense were unable to slow him down as he scored under the posts. It was an impressive opening salvo from the number 8 who caused issues for the Saxons defense throughout. Braidwood extended the lead with another conversion to make it 38-0.
With ten minutes left on the clock in the first half New York scored again. The forwards put together a number big crashes to work their way close to the Saxons 22. The ball came out wide and Ashton broke through the line before popping off to Howard who was stopped inches short of the line. From the ensuing ruck Prop Nick Mastrogeorgiou picked up and dove over out wide. Braidwood hit the touchline conversion to make it 45-0.
Five minutes later the half-century was wrapped up. Saxons tried to counter from deep inside their own half but it backfired when their outside centre tried to throw the ball wide and Ashton intercepted. He pulled the cover defense out wide and popped inside to prop John McAuliffe who ran in unopposed to score for the second week in a row. Braidwood once again coolly slotted the conversion to make it 52-0.
Hutch would add his 4th and New York’s 9th try as the clock ran down on the half. Braidwood countered a kick from his own 22 going 35 yards with a slicing run before popping the ball to Hutch. The defense once again were unable to stop the marauding number 8 on his way to a try from 45 metres out that would be converted by Braidwood.
To the Saxon’s credit they never gave up and ended the half with a score after New York gave away a number of penalties which resulted in Saxons scoring out wide to end the half with the scores at 59-5.
The second half saw the scoring slow down as Southtowns managed to get a foothold in the game and disrupt the flow of NYRC’s attacking play. With 15 minutes left on the clock New York added another try. Rick Damaso scored his first club try after collecting the ball off of a driving maul from his own lineout. Damaso has been one of the sides most improved players this season and his efforts in recent weeks were rewarded. Braidwood for the final time dissected the posts to make it 66-5.
Southtowns would score one more try with 5 minutes left with their prop crashing over for an unconverted score. For some reason, despite being over 50 points down, he decided to scream in his opposite numbers face and recreate an Aaron Rodgers celebration. It would be his last action of the game as the referee sin binned him for it.
With the last play of the game NYRC were awarded a penalty try when Julia was hit with an early tackle robbing him of a clear try he was about to score to take the final score to 73-10.