ARLINGTON, VA – If someone woke to a morning of rain, field location change, and a delayed kickoff time (hypothetically speaking), that person may, perhaps, feel thrown “off kilter” and as a result have a less than fruitful day. The NYRC WPL squad, by contrast, decided to focus on the controllable elements of their afternoon, which included a high-energy warm-up and 80-minutes of rugby in the state of the Dogwood (which, if anyone is curious, is both the state tree and flower.)
Receiving the kickoff to start Sunday’s match, NYRC put the first points up in minute 6 with well-executed phase play that sent the ball wide. A second try only ten minutes later put NYRC ahead 10-0. While DC returned with a break-away and try of their own, NYRC dotted down two more before the end of the first half, giving the team a 24-5 lead. Despite the score, NYRC came away from the first half feeling less than enthusiastic about their performance. Captain Tiff Faaee recalls that from the sideline she could tell that although the squad was executing, it wasn’t showing its ‘normal flow.’ “We had some new combinations and new leaders finding their voices” said Faaee. “We stayed patient, trusted the process, and were much more disciplined in the second half.”
The second 40 started slowly, with both teams contributing to a high penalty count and multiple scrum restarts. Damp playing conditions prevented both sides from producing quick, clean ball. NYRC broke the static in minute 51 with a weak pick and 40m try by scrum half Shelby Lin, bringing the score to NYRC 29-5 DC. Although the Furies scored several minutes later, NYRC responded with 19 uncontested points in the remaining 20 minutes of the match, finishing with a final score of NYRC 48-10 DC. “It was good to see the players come off the field smiling” said Coach Chadwick. “The team finished in a positive space with key takeaways as we continue building on each match.”
Overall, the fixture showed to captains Faaee and Lin that the squad has the focus to continue executing no matter who is wearing a jersey or what the score is. “Knowing what a mental test Nationals is, this game was about us identifying and developing a deeper set of leaders on the field” said Lin. “We rested some of our usual leaders and tested how we could continue to bring intensity and flow to our game.” Faaee added that the final try of the match exemplified the full-team commitment to play to the whistle. “It was great to watch the effort and determination to keep the pressure on” Faaee said.
Sunday's win gives NYRC a 7-0-0 record and secures them the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. While WPL Nationals is only two weeks away, NYRC remains fully-focused on the match in front of them. NYRC’s hosts Twin City for their last fixture in the regular WPL Season. Check out the action on Randall’s Island this coming Sunday, November 5th. Kick off is slated for 12:00 EST with live updates on Twitter @NewYorkRugby