Monmouth scored on the last play of the game to win 32-31 with a try from Rob Morello who had three on the day. Jay Peterson, John Russoniello and Evan Fitzgerald had the others.
Monmouth started brightly winning good possession with counter rucks and Russoniello punched in a try on four minutes. Monmouth had a lapse in concentration at the lineout to allow LI a mauled try three minutes later. Some good offloading and support gave LI a converted try under the posts on 11 minutes. Jay Peterson got Monmouth a chance of leveling things with a try from a mauled line out followed by some dynamic rucks, Joe Lucarelli converted. The next fifteen minutes were very even until Evan Fitzgerald found a gap in the defense to knife through for a try leaving the score at 17-12 and it stayed that way until half time.
The second half was a roller coaster with LI taking the lead on 45 mins with a converted try from phase play answered by two Tries from scrum half Rob Morello after 51 and 54 minutes.
With a speculative kick ahead from LI Nick Lynch appeared to have grounded the ball but it slide out from under him and the LI right wing touched down.
Going in to the last six minutes Monmouth held a slender 3 point lead and were under pressure. LI punched in a score under the posts from their 8 man and the try was converted to make the score 27-31.
But this Monmouth team has been through more than a few tight games and won the kick off to create a great attacking ruck in front if the posts. LI left wing intervened and killed the ball leading to a yellow card and penalty. Monmouth did not force their way in from penalty but following a series of scrims and penalties one of the Long Island second rows played the ball in the ruck on the goal line for a second yellow. Monmouth then pounded the LI line before Man of the Match Morello snuck in for the winning score on the last play of the game.
~ pat moroney
Here’s what Rugby Mag had to say and what the ref’s felt as well.