On another wet Saturday afternoon, Monmouth traveled up to Randall’s Island in New York City to take on the New York Rugby Club for a second time this season. The battle is for the one seed in the Empire D2 Playoffs.
The long trip had Monmouth on the backfoot to start the match. NYRC got a penalty and kicked for the corner early. Monmouth successfully defended a maul but NYRC worked it wide a few phases later and were in for a score. With the conversion Monmouth was down 7-0 early. The match continued with some back and forth play, the wet conditions leading to some handling errors for both sides. After nearly 20 minutes of play, NYRC made a break in the backs off of a scrum. Despite the defense effort NYRC’s support was able to score. A successful conversion made is 14-0 to NYRC. A few minutes later NYRC was awarded a penalty within kicking range, electing to kick. Monmouth now trailed 17-0. Monmouth went on the attack shortly after. And after a few attempts, center Ryan Norman, made a short break and was able to reach over for the try. Flyhalf Tevita Bryce went for the drop goal conversion to pull Monmouth closer, now trailing 17-7. The score would remain that way as the half ended a few minutes later.
Monmouth started the second half with some strong attacking play but were unable to convert our opportunities into points. Monmouth then found ourselves defending a 5 meter scrum on our goal line. After a few successful defenses and resets, flanker Rich McEown was sent to the bin with a yellow card. Found guilty of unbinding early from the scrum. On a subsequent penalty on the 5, NYRC snuck in after a quick tap. A Successful conversion made it 24-7 to NYRC with just under 60 mins played. Monmouth would continue to put pressure on NYRC. Eventually center Vallon Adams was able to score after joining the forwards on a series of pick and goes at the goal line. Tevita once again converted the try and Monmouth trailed 24-14. After some back and forth sets Monouth was defending in their own end. NYRC placed a well chosen cross field kick, which bounced perfectly to their wing who was in for the score in the corner. The difficult kick was converted and NYRC was up 31-14. The clock was ticking away and Monmouth continued to push on attack but the wet conditions and some handling errors led to Monmouth failing to score in the closing minutes of the match. The game was over and Monmouth had fallen to a well drilled and skilled team in NYRC. The boys will work hard in the week to hone our skills and work to convert more of our scoring opportunities.
With the 31-14 defeat Monmouth still sits second in the group for Empire D2. We are on the road to the Fairfield Yankees on Saturday October 21 to close out the regular season of the Fall Empire D2