Huntsville travel strong to Gadsden.
Huntsville travel strong to Gadsden looking to consolidate on a home win earlier in the season. Certainly a match to test blood pressure medication!
Huntsville rugby club travelled to Gadsden with the aspiration of consolidating on a home win earlier in the season. A win at this game would cement Huntsville's goal of winning the division and qualifying for the playoffs being hosted by the club at Huntsville's home ground, The Rick.
It was a beautiful rugby day and both teams arrived early to warm up and also take the opportunity to watch each other practice moves and check each other out. Both teams were match ready having both played games the previous weekend. There were some initial surprises for Huntsville, the main one was the dimensions of Gadsden's playing area. However any concerns were short lived as the guys started to get ready for the game.
The ref called in the team captains and gave them the pre-game talk, advice and asked for any questions. He also informed them that he would be running an open, flowing game and would award advantages more than blowing up for any and every infringement.
With that all said and done and after the usual preliminaries, the game got underway a little early at 12.45pm.
Huntsville drew first blood with a well executed drive through the center, phasing the ball and making progress across the gain line before Glen Hiller
, using his power, broke out to score a superb try in the corner which was perfectly converted by Ryan Roof
, full back. Gadsden came back hard after the re-start and scored a breakaway try catching Huntsville by complete surprise.
The result went back and forth after that in what was a very scrappy and tense game and the referee having to call the team captains in on a few occasions in an attempt to calm the growing physicality and to re-assert his authority.
After the break the game continued in the same vain, both as far as the scoring and the tensions. However, during all of this there was some fantastic displays of skilled rugby, with Austin Creel carrying the ball across the line for try number two and Ryan Roof
scoring two wonderfully executed tries. Ryan also had a very much improved kicking game, converting three of the four tries.
It was however not to be Huntsville's day and after a very hard fought and scrappy exhibition, Gadsden pulled a final try out of the hat and very much against the play, close to the final whistle, giving Huntsville no time to answer the challenge.
All in all there was some wonderful and inspiring rugby played by Huntsville in the lucid moments of the game and the team should take the lesson back that when they play rugby well, they score tries and Huntsville, you play rugby well!
Congratulations to the individuals who excelled, Glen, first try of the match and first ever try in rugby, Roof for your scoring and kicking and Braden Stults
for outstanding playmaking at scrum half.
We now look forward to Clinch River... Watch this space