Friday, April 3, 2015

Dallas Reds overtake Griffins Rugby in RRRC D1 action

Reds put-in during a scrum at Glencoe Park in Dallas.
Referee Shawn "Bean" Martin sports the Griffins' RefCam.
3 April 2015
By Gordon Hanlon, DARC

Dallas, TX  - Make sure the bear is crippled before you poke him.

The Dallas Rugby Club faced the Griffins Rugby Club at Glencoe Park last night. The Griffins sensed weakness a few weeks ago and took a case all the way to the National Competitions Committee to get this game rescheduled sooner rather than later. The NCC ruled in their favor (Correction to follow) that the match should be played as soon as possible and the make-up was scheduled for a midweek game under the lights at Glencoe. This, coupled with the signing of lock Ben Nelson to the Griffins after committing to the Dallas Rugby Club before the season had started (Correction: Nelson was never CIPP'd to Dallas for the 2014-2015 season. Griffins conducted their inquiries to Nelson's possible availability with all due diligence to prevent rumors of poaching.) , helped to foment a bitter rivalry between these two clubs.

The Dallas Reds extended their winning streak on the field against the Griffins in an emphatic 40 – 11 win last night. The result leapfrogs the Reds over New Orleans Rugby into second place in the Red River Conference standings.

In the first minute of the game the Reds number 13 Chase Haberstroh caught the ball in his own half and proceeded to fend off numerous arm tackles down the sideline from the Griffins and score under the posts. This would set the tone for the second half, but in the first half it just galvanized the Griffins and they wrestled the Reds for the ascendency. Their defensive stoutness held firm and frustrated the Reds in a sloppy first half. Danny Carlton normally automatic when kicking had an off day and missed more than he would have liked. The Griffins worked the ball well and manipulated the Reds forwards around the field. They could not execute out wide though and both Marc De Charmoy at 13 and Nathan Sohadeseni at 14 had games they will want to forget. Both had excellent attacking opportunities but handling errors and poor support at the point of contact created turnovers for the Reds.

Chad Joseph was yellow carded in the 36th minute continuing the trend of ill-discipline at the Reds. The Griffins soon capitalized on the numerical advantage and scored 2 minutes later when the Reds defence had switched off for a number of phases.

The first half ended 8 – 7 in favor of the Griffins. Then the Reds superior fitness showed as they scored 21 points in 13 minutes of the second half. Zach Klump has been a revelation for them with his consistent kicking this season. Whatever fight back the Griffins may have had all but ended when the substitutions occurred. Being able to bring on Jon Moore, possibly the fastest winger in the entire competition just added a spark to a game which had been purely physical contest at that point. It was clear that both teams did not want to give an inch and were intent on butting heads instead of attempting to evade the defense. Spencer Cameron playing in front of his former teammates at the Harlequins showed why he is such a dangerous player carving up the Griffins defense for two tries.

I am sure both teams will go away from this and learn a lot. The Griffins will need to show an increased ability in the set piece as they have struggled the last two games and the Reds will need to improve on manipulating defenses quicker in order to maximize their outstanding talent out wide.

Final Score:  Dallas Reds 40 – Griffins Rugby 11

Tries – Haberstroh, Neilson, Kolberg, Cameron (2), Russ
Conversions – Klump (4), NeilsonCards – Joseph (Yellow)

Tries – Walker
Penalties – Carlton (2)

Match Officials
Referee – Sean “Bean” Martin
AR 1 – Randy Campbell
AR 2 – Chris Kelly
Reds halt a Griffins attack on the wing.

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