Ohio’s finest rugby team, the Cleveland Eastern Suburbs Rugby Football Club, made the long drive down to Cincinnati over the weekend to play in what ended up being a test match in every sense of the word.
Unfavorable weather made the match against their DI opponents that much more difficult. The rain, which eventually turned into snow and hail made the ball extremely difficult to handle, resulting in a lot of loose ball on the deck and handling errors. The muddy pitch made getting a foothold almost impossible, an issue that affected the srums and mauls quite a bit. And the southern Ohio gails made caused the normally on-point kicks from flyhalf Nick Viviani to fade off target a number of times throughout the match.
Fortunately, due to the grit and determination of the 19 Cleveland players that made the drive, the ESRFC was able to bring home a four-point victory and take down the Wolfhounds 21-17.
The match got heated early with some sketchy play on the part of the Wolfhounds. Fortunately, cooler heads prvailed and the contest proceeded without further incident. The Green Horde opened theit account with two early penalties from the boot of their flyhalf. The Wolfhounds scored late in the first half and closed out the initial 40 minutes on a sour note for the Green Horde. The second half didn’t start much better for the visiting side as the Wolfhounds capitalized on mental errors to put up another quick try. Throughout the second half the team traded tries, putting one another under constant pressure in the hopes that the other would break. Fortunately, the ESRFC’s late try by Preston Lowden was enough to put the game out of reach for the Wolfhounds, who put in a last-gasp try during the waning minutes of the match.
The GReen Horde looks to travel to Athens and face OU in their last match before hosting the Impalas in a playoff match. If the Green Horde continues to play as hard as they did in Cincy, there are a scant few teams who can match them. Kickoff for the OU match is Saturday April 5 at 1:00pm.
See you at the pitch.