Some things had been said, and just like anything that has been said, it cannot be unsaid. The press that a division 1 rugby club gets here, where hockey is the fourth most popular sport and most of the country cannot name more than 3 professional players, is minimal and rarely serves to do more than just recount what happened. But, the Monmouth team saw what was written, took it as what’s being said, and acted to discern it. The question was asked, of who had Monmouth beaten. Striking down Long Island was not enough, because maybe they were in an off-season, and the Village Lions were in their first season in the first division. Morris? Winless and Monmouth had yet to prove anything.
Then, this past Saturday, New York Rugby Club came down to Thompson Park in order to decide who probably wins the first division of the Met Union this year. It may not have been domination but it was eighty minutes of ball control and finesse. Of hard tackles and crisp passes, firm lines an composure. Monmouth walked away with a 33-19 victory over New York. Monmouth walked away with a first place bye and home fields in their own control. But more than that they walked away with what they walked in with – the knowledge that we are the team to beat in the Met Union this year. Compared with the rest of the games this fall, this game bears no real distinction. Monmouth did not back down inside, battling each and every scrum & lineout. We did not throw the punch where two years ago we might have and we did not blame each other every time our opponent struck. Monmouth stuck together at each drop of the ball and break down, and like the rest of this season, struck when the opportunity presented itself.
We travel to New York in two weeks, after next weeks bye, to play the Old Blue Super League side, in a match which counts against league standings, even if Old Blue cannot advance in the playoffs. Anything less than a bonus point win by New York next week secures home field and the bye for Monmouth. And if New York gets a BP next week, Monmouth will continue doing what they’ve done all year, which is handle only what we can, and do so with authority.
Congrats to the try scorers: