New Blue Rugby Backs into Win after a Sloppy Second-Half
September 24, 2007
New Haven, CT
After a 2006 campaign that fell just short of yet another championship, followed by the loss of senior talent, the 2007 Ruggers wanted to make a big statement in NERFU Division III. New Blue would have their hands full taking on Central Connecticut State University.
New Blue started the game as though they had never missed a beat. Playing with a more structured style of rugby, led by newly acquired coach Ben Boutaugh, New Blue’s possession plays lead to an early score. Senior John McHugh kicked the ball deep into CCSU territory to prevent an early strike from the visitors. As the ball fell inside CCSU’s 22-meter mark, seniors’ Brian Frank and Gerald Loehr set up rookie hooker Andrew Cai for the first try of the season. The momentum would carry over into the ensuing kick-off as the Forwards controlled every point of attack. With great vision by the backs, Senior Captains Dave Motisi and Jesse Ferraro raced inside the 22-meter mark where McHugh would again add 2 points with a field goal attempt. Already up 9-0 within the first 15 minutes of play, New Blue would continue to put pressure on a struggling CCSU.
CCSU would respond though by hammering the ball down the field with their forwards. The ‘bend don’t break mentality’ of New Blue’s defense would halt any attack by the visitors. After regaining possession and making quick haste down field by way of penalty kicks, Junior Ryan Brady would make a dash for the try zone. In rugby the defense must be 10 yards back after a penalty, in this case a knock on, and Brady capitalized on CCSU’s misunderstanding of the rules and snuck in for the try. McHugh would convert on the field goal attempt to put New Blue up 16-0. Seemingly a one sided affair, Captain Dave Motisi would add a 30-yard run to put New Blue up 22-0 going into halftime.
The second half would be a completely different story. New Blue looked winded and were looking for a win that was still 40 minutes away. CCSU would storm down the field on New Blue and score on their first possession. Dropped balls and missed tackles would help CCSU score 15 unanswered points as it seemed CCSU would have the grit to make a comeback. But New Blue’s resilience and timely tackles to regain possession would set up field goal kicker McHugh to convert a 25 yard attempt to put the game out of reach for CCSU. As the final whistle sounded, New Blue escaped with a 25-15 victory.
This weekend New Blue takes on rival Southern Connecticut State College Saturday September 29th at the New Haven field. This season the teams have incorporated a Cup, The Battle for New Haven, which will finally suggest in trophy form which team is better than the other.