On a beautiful September Saturday at Thompson Park the Monmouth Rugby Football Club hosted the New York Rugby Club in an Empire Division 2 league match.
Monmouth kicked off to start the match. NYRC came to play and were aggressive in the early stages. After a penalty that gave NYRC a lineout near the goal line, they used a strong maul to get the defense off base and went in to score on the subsequent phase of play. The conversion was missed and NYRC led 5-0. After some back and forth play, Monmouth found themselves in a similar situation with NYRC scoring off a lineout maul. This time the conversion was successful and Monmouth trailed 12-0. Shortly afterwards Monmouth would get some attacking ball and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Reliable kicker, Jack Connors, playing flyhalf on the day, scored the penalty and got Monmouth on the board, now down 12-3. Sloppy Monmouth play on the following kickoff gave NYRC the ball and they took it to the corner to score. Monmouth now trailed 17-3. Monmouth would work hard to get some attacking rugby in the NYRC end. A strong run from outside center, Cameron Digiorgio, got in for the score. A successful conversion from Connors and Monmouth was back in the game now down 17-10 just before the halftime break.
The second half opened with strong attack from Monmouth but we were unable to convert that into points. NYRC then put pressure on Monmouth in our own end. After several minutes of stout defending, NYRC was able to score in the corner. After an unsuccessful conversion NYRC now led 22-10. Shortly afterwards Monmouth won a turn over in their own end, They spun the ball out wide and got the ball to the wing. Passes between wing Matt Misiukiewicz, Cam Digiorgio, fullback Nick Lynch, and ended the long break away with lock Junior Aiono scored in the corner for a Monmouth try. Connors was unable to make the difficult sideline conversion, Monmouth now trailed 22-15. NYRC would come and strike back with another try, and a successful conversion made it 29-15 to NYRC. NYRC would score in the corner once more to make it 34-15 with about 10 minutes remaining on the clock. Monmouth would not give up and an offload from Cam Digiorgio to Matt Misiukiewicz (making his Monmouth empire debut) to score under the posts. Conners took a quick and successful conversion and Monmouth now trailed 34-22. NYRC would score once again, this time, the wing on the near side off a scrum going over in the car corner. With an unsuccessful conversion it was now 39-22.
The game would end in a Monmouth loss 39-22. While not our best performance in recent memory the team will work hard and right our wrongs. Monmouth returns to action on September 30th, hosting the Fairfield Yankees at Thompson Park. This will be a rematch of the Empire D3 final last year, with both teams moving up to D2. Monmouth will also have an eventual return fixture at NYRC where we get a chance to get one back on October 14th.