On a beautiful fall day at Thompson Park, Monmouth rugby took on Old Blue (D3) in the Empire GU Quarterfinals. Old Blue came in 5-1 and Monmouth 6-0 in a strong match-up of 2 historic clubs.
The match began with some strong play from Old Blue in the Monmouth half. Strong defense and dominant set piece help counter some of Monmouth’s early errors. After several minutes a well-placed Old Blue cross-field kick connected and allowed former Monmouth man, Steve Walier to score in the corner. Following a successful conversion, Old Blue led 7-0.
On the kickoff, Monmouth played aggressive defense forcing a knock-on. Off a strong set piece, the backs worked the ball out to the far side for the wing, Matt Zadroga, who scored a try. The difficult conversion was successful off the boot of flyhalf Jack Connors and the score was level 7-7.
After a period of back-and-forth play between the two sides, Monmouth broke the tie with a score from Loosehead prop, Frank Bricker, whose strong stiff arm allowed him to get in under the posts. The conversion was successful from inside center, Tevita Bryce, and the score was 14-7 in favor of Monmouth.
Monmouth continued to play aggressively with the ball in hand. After some errors, we found ourselves on our end. Some strong defense and turnover led to a big break from Fullback, Nick Wallace, who got us down near the goal line. Taking the ball on a quick tap penalty led to a score from flanker, Allen Ploenes. A successful conversion from Jack Connors made the score 21-7 at the half.
After the half, both teams came out swinging, but Monmouth gained the advantage after some strong runs, inside center Tevita Bryce set an offload up to outside center Vallon Adams for a try. The conversion from Jack Connors bounced off the posts, making the score 26-7.
Old Blue would not roll over, scoring a try off a hard run from their number 8. A quick drop-goal conversion made it 26-14. An error on the kickoff allowed them to score another try and with a successful conversion made it 26-21.
Both teams went back and forth but strong defense prevented tries from both teams. Jack Connors landed a penalty to make it 29-21. That would in the end be the final score. A great team victory for Monmouth to send them on to the Semi-Final round where we will host the Rochester Aardvarks on November 5th.
Thank you for all the support at Thompson Park. We look forward to seeing you all next week.
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