The Roses 1st XV produced a comprehensive performance of running rugby on Saturday afternoon in front of a healthy home crowd, dispatching their opponents with a comfortable 58 - 7 score line.
The Roses took the lead within the first five minutes with a surging run from co-captain, Anderson Smith; running in from outside the 22 meter line and under the posts. After an initial period of possession dominance and scoring, Wilmington started physically impose themselves on the smaller Roses pack. Through initial half breaks around the fringes of the rucks, the Wilmington forwards were able to exert enough pressure on the Roses defensive line to pull a score back.
However, their resurgence was short lived. Wilmington attempted to push the ball into the midfield on several occasions but were met by the formidable tackling of
Steve Hess at Inside Center. On numerous occasions throughout the entire game,
possession was knocked on. The ball was then spread through the hands of the Roses backline on several occasions from inside their own 22, often resulting in a try or try scoring opportunity.
A break from fly half Braden Story once again allowed the Roses backline in behind the defense of Wilmington. As the ball was slowed, Scrum Half and Captain, Jason Zink implemented the deft of touches in the form of a box kick; turning the defense and allowing the winger to score in the corner.
The second half was much of the same, more dynamic running from the Roses backline and a fitter pack, liberated the boys to run through the opposition's defense at will.
Full Back, Cesar Fonseca contributed with an individual piece of brilliance to score in the corner. Fonseca stepped the line, threw a dummy and outpaced the full back to score in the corner. When he wasn't scoring, Fonseca seemed to be assisting. Great hands down the line and his ability to draw in several defenders, created opportunities for others in the form of 2 on 1's in the outside channels.
As the game came to a close, the exhaustion was clear to see. The Roses had dominated the collisions and at times, Wilmington asked questions of their defense. Overall, a solid performance against a team only 3 years ago were MAC finalists. Next up, North Penn!
Updated 16:35 - 22 Feb 2018 by Ed Pritchard