On October 11, 2013 the Arkansas Gryphons traveled to Springfield, MO in order to take on the Springfield Rugby Club. The weather was markedly better than it had been in the past couple of meetings in Springfield; although the weather was dreary, the match saw no rain and the temperature was in the upper fifties. Contrast this to the year prior, when the weather was in the lower forties and it poured rain throughout the match.
The team traveled with 18 men, creating a team that was far different from the one usually fielded. The most notable change was due to the team’s usual inside center, Daniel Cook, missing the match. This caused Torrance Williams to shift out to inside center, and Frank Masotto to flyhalf. While both of these players played admirably well considering they were outside of their typical positions, the team was not able to pull out a win against a gritty Springfield team.
The game started relatively well. Springfield had the ball, and the Gryphons were defending them efficiently. Springfield was struggling to make any ground, and the Gryphons were fighting hard to obtain possession of the ball. Shortly after, the Gryphons were able to obtain possession, and began to attempt to march down the field. Regrettably, this is where things began to go awry for the Gryphons. One right after another, the Gryphons had kicks blocked near Springfield’s try zone which led to two Springfield tries.
The Gryphons were beaten almost entirely due to their own mistakes. Penalties led to the vast majorities of Springfield’s tries came from Springfield capitalizing on Gryphons’ penalties, which accounted for a large amount of the opposing team’s field position. Unfortunately, the Gryphons were never able to make the same capitalizations. Although the team rucked remarkably well and maintained ball retention decently, they were never able to make their way into the try zone. The final score of the game was 34-0.
Written by Matt Mathis
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