What a Brutal Game
Rugby United New York fell to 3-2 on the season after Sunday night’s hard fought battle against the San Diego Legion. The final score was 24-20, giving RUNY a valuable losing bonus point in the league standings. However, the win was there for RUNY’s taking in the end.
RUNY didn’t come out of the gates too hot. The Roosters were quickly behind on the scoreboard when Joe Pietersen sunk a penalty shot at goal. It was suddenly 3-0 and not soon after the JP kick, the Legion had a break on the left wing. Tira Patterson ended up scoring for San Diego and of course, the evil Joe Pietersen nailed the conversion. It was 10-0 before RUNY seemingly got their heads in the game.
Finally, the Roosters had life. The RUNY scrum dominated in the opening thirty minutes of the game. Going into the Legion 5 meter line, RUNY earned call after call against their loose-head, Jamie Dever. Paddy Ryan put him in a body bag. After 40 penalties, the scrum was rewarded with a penalty try. It was 10-7 after 20 minutes.
15 minutes later: another scrum and another Legion penalty. Fawsitt pointed to the sticks while Marshy called for his tee and the shot at goal went over. Quick sidebar- Cathal Marsh is the best goal kicker in Major League Rugby. He’s 18/19 on the season. Sidebar over. The game was all tied up!
In the 34th minute, Will Leonard won RUNY a penalty. Again, the Roosters opted to go for points. Marshawn sent it through the uprights and New York was ahead 13-10. They took that lead into half time and then it got real.
The start of the second half saw the Legion get close to the RUNY try line a bunch of times. They opted for lineout after lineout, and Paddy Ryan got dinged for collapsing one of the mauls. It seemed like there was a miscommunication between him and one of the assistant referees. Ryan was sent off for 10 minutes and the Legion made RUNY pay with the one man advantage.
Not long after the citing, all hell kind of broke loose. Kirk Hamilton came into the game, in order to make the scrum work, forcing Connor Wallace-Sims to the sideline. After multiple phases of defense, Roosters won a scrum deep in their own end. Walsh fed the ball, and some off-camera hubbub caused it to shoot back out of the tunnel. It was insane. San Diego got the ball, spun it out wide, and Patterson was over for his second try of the game. Evil Joe Pietersen made the kick. It was 17-13 Legion.
After receiving the kick, San Diego’s attack was looking pretty flat for a few phases. Then their fly half Luke Burton sent a kick into the sky. It was a weird kick- at first I thought it kind of stunk because it did indeed stink. Then he realized it stunk and that he had to probably catch it himself. The kick was really shallow, and Foden wasn’t gonna be able to get there. Burton received his own ball, and got it out to Nasoqeqe. The big Fijian No. 8 galloped for maybe 30 meters before O’Keeffe tracked him down. San Diego’s wannabe Fabio got the offload and broke a few tackles to score under the posts. Evil Joe Pietersen converted and it was 24-13 after 55 minutes
Around the 60th minute, RUNY was awarded a scrum deeeep in the Legion end. After winning the set piece, the ball was sent out to Marsh, who found Mattina, who connected with Leonard on a flat pass. At full speed, he basically threw himself into the two defenders, destroying their will to live and stumbling across for a five pointer. Marsh connected and it was 24-20.
RUNY basically camped out in the San Diego 22 for the last twenty minutes. It looked like they were going to score a bunch of times. Unfortunately, they didn’t. But we’re walking away from San Diego with a bonus point, and we’re making our way back to New York for the 2020 home opener.
- Will Leonard: try
- Cathal Marsh: conversion; 2 penalties
New merch alert! Limited Edition Rugby United New York Basketball Jersey. $80