On November 2nd, 2013 the Arkansas Gryphons met the Kansas City Islanders for the second time this season, at Walker Park in Fayetteville. The weather was perfect; high 50’s, and mostly sunny. Both teams had full rosters, and it was shaping up to be a great day for a rugby match.
The Gryphons came out hard early. To begin the game, they marched down the field aggressively, using the teamwork and skills they had been working on in practice the weeks prior, and punched in a try with Gryphons’ flyhalf Caleb Reed.
However, the Islanders fought back hard. Their size and power were difficult for the Gryphons to deal with, and they were able to put up several tries on the Gryphons. The half ended 36-12, in favor of the Islanders.
Things continued to go downhill for the Gryphons in the second half, who began to suffer from fatigue from physical game as well as a number of injuries. However, the Gryphons kept their heads high, and fought hard until the end of the match. They continued to play well as a team, rather than coming apart at the seams from frustration as a lesser team might have done. However, their best efforts still left them short against a phenomenal Islanders team, and the game ended with a final score of 79-19.
While the disparity of the score is large, it does not accurately reflect the game the Gryphons played. The Islanders are truly a great team, and the game demonstrated to the Gryphons both how far they had come as a team compared to the last time the two teams met, as well as highlighted specific areas they could come together and work to correct. The Gryphons expect great things for the rest of the season, as well as the future of the club as a whole.
Written by Matt Mathis
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