Saturday in Toledo, Ohio, the Green Horde visited the Celtics in a rematch from the Fall season. In their first encounter the Green Horde beat the Celtics handily, but that was with most of their primary players installed and gelling with the rest of the starting XV. This week’s competition saw key players in vital positions missing from the match, so the starting line consisted of shuffled starters and starting subs. Any team would be shaky with such a line-up, but the Green Horde aren’t any team. The team came out firing, with fill-in lock Miles Papa playing great support to finish off a great series of play to put in the first five of the match. The Celtics fired back and would continue to make nuisances of themselves throughout the game.
The first 40 saw the Celtics holding strong and keeping the game close by capitalizing on errors made by the Cleveland side. Scrums were zero sum affairs with the teams drawing stalemates after a majority of the engagements and lineout throws generally went to hand without any issue. The Celtics took liberties in the rucks and let their feet fly free, kicking at the ball while it was on the deck. The Green Horde held a bit more sway in the lineouts on solid throw-ins and solid mauls. The complexion of the set pieces changed in the second 40, though; and they changed decidedly in favor of the Men from Cleveland. Offensive rucks were secured and cleaned up, a switch in the defensive arrangement made it so Celtics’ lineouts weren’t safe and scrums became one-sided as the Green Horde continued to secure their own ball and made a mess of their opponents’ put-ins.
The Green Horde’s A side took a close 31 – 26 win back to Cleveland with them.
The B side put up another impressive showing. Unfortunately, their opposition managed to eek out a victory at the death of the match. Much like the A side, the B side’s scoring came at the hands of another debutante. New back line player – and new player overall – Wreck It Ralph, got a pass in open field and took off down the field. He still had a lot of work to do after receiving the pass, but he was too much for the defense to handle and he went over for the first five of the game. The Green Horde B side impressed in their match with Toledo, despite the sour outcome so expect to see two things in the future: solid B siders stepping up to the A ranks and more wins in the B side stat line.