On September 9th 2023 Monmouth Rugby Football Club opened their Empire D2 campaign by hosting Lansdowne Rugby of New York. Initially it was intended to be an away game for Monmouth but due to field issues we would host. This luckily allowed the match to go on as severe Thunderstorms affected other club matches played near Lansdowne’s home.

As for the match, Monmouth started with some strong defense and forced a turnover. After driving down the field, outside center Cam Digeorgio (Monmouth Empire debut) broke the line with a strong fend and was over for a try in the 7th minute of the game. Conversion was successful from scrumhalf Jack Connors and Monmouth led 7-0. Several minutes later Lansdowne was awarded a penalty and took a successful shot at goal to make the score 7-3.

Despite the heat and humidity of the first half Monmouth maintained possession and was able to score once again. This time Lock Andrew Poulson (returning from retirement) was over for the score in the 22nd minute. Another successful conversion from Jack Connors made it 14-3. Lansdowne would soon strike back with a try but unable to convert to draw the score closer, 14-8. A penalty awarded at the end of the half and within the range of Jack Connors put Monmouth up 17-8 at the half.

The second half started well for Monmouth. Wing Jeremy Destano (Monmouth Empire debut) scoring in the far corner to make it 22-8. Connors was unable to convert the difficult kick.

Both teams brought on fresh legs in the second half which became a more defensive effort. A penalty awarded to Monmouth in the 63rd minute allowed Jack Connors to extend Monmouth’s lead to 25-8.

Lansdowne, a quality and competitive side, would not roll over and continued to apply pressure and eventually would score in the 70th minute, conversion unsuccessful, making it 25-13 in favor of Monmouth. Both teams would continue to attack in the last ten minutes in hopes of securing bonus points but neither would succeed.

The match ended with a Monmouth victory 25-13 and 4 points in the league table.

Due to weather the Bside match would be relatively short lived but a lively affair.

Next week (9/16) Monmouth will host the New York Rugby Club as the Empire D2 campaign continues.

Thanks to @donny.palmer.videography for video highlights