23 April 2017
Tremendous performance this weekend for the Elmhurst boys vs Forest City. Just three weeks ago, Elmhurst lost a match against this same Forest City side, 40-15, which shows the significant improvement and effort from our Elmhurst Rugby Club in such a brief period of time.
From the very beginning of the match, Elmhurst controlled most of the game playing in Forest City territory. Although close to scoring on several occasions, Elmhurst did not put points on the board early in the first half. Penalties plagued Elmhurst and allowed Forest City to progress into Elmhurst territory on multiple occasions. Despite very strong defensive stands, Forest City scored first when Elmhurst was backed up against the try line. Elmhurst continued their aggressive play, but again found themselves deep in their own territory due to penalties. Forest City caught a lucky break from an Elmhurst lineout throw and scored from 5 meters out. The rest of the match, however, went to Elmhurst.
Late in the first half, Alex Swintek took the ball and charged forward with his menacing running. Breaking numerous Forest City tackles, Swintek grounded the ball for Elmhurst's first try of the match. Nick Bauer did not convert the try. Score at half was 10-5, Forest City.
Although tired from the heat, Elmhurst dug deep in the second half. Again, with an incredible run that broke numerous tackles, Swintek charged forward and scored his second try of the match. Bauer converted the try bringing the score to 12-10, Elmhurst.
Credit to both sides for the effort put forth during remainder of the second half. Neither club was willing to concede the win. However, Elmhurst proved more relentless, particularly in their defensive stands, and prevented numerous opportunities for Forest City to put additional points on the board. The final punch came with ten minutes left in the match when good passing from the Elmhurst backs allowed a substitute from Marist HS to score from the outside and punch the ball down for another try. Although kicking far from left of the posts, Bauer made an exceptional kick only to fall slightly short of converting the try.
Notable performances across the entire club. Ben Bernard at prop has truly stepped up into the leader of the forwards, helping to organize and motivate the forwards. Bernard made several exceptional runs and consistently maintained possession for Elmhurst with his rucking abilities. Nick Bauer played scrumhalf remarkably well, and was a key to many of our defensive stands with his unrelenting advancement on attacking forwards from Forest City despite their size. Bauer tackled with the ferocity of a prop throughout the entire match, stepped up to kick well, and controlled penalties with his kicks for touch to advance the ball into Forest City territory. Giovanni Rodriguez was a beast defensively at fly half, often making first contact against his opponent deep behind the gain line. Rodriguez also ran the ball very well against a staunch opposing fly half and inside center, nearly always requiring the opponent to commit two and three tacklers just to bring him down. Chris Eckard also made significant advancements in his performance at fullback, never letting the opponent capitalize from a kick, often involving himself in the rucks on the outside to maintain possession, and inserting within the backs to break the gain line on numerous occasions. Finally, CJ Cote continued his aggressive style of rugby, involved in nearly every ruck - often taking the ball quickly from rucks, and leading the charge defensively on penalties awarded to the opponent.
There certainly is room for growth and improvement from this talented bunch, but an exceptional effort was put forth on Sunday that made the match enjoyable for all to watch.
Final score was 17-10, Elmhurst. 'Man of the Match' was awarded to Nick Bauer.