September 6, 2016
Notre Dame College Men’s Rugby Defeats St. Bonaventure
Notre Dame College Men’s Rugby hosted their second consecutive Rugby East opponent Friday night in St. Bonaventure. Just like the week before, when they won against Wheeling Jesuit University 59-5, they defeated St. Bonaventure University 49-7.
The match was a contested one during the first half. Notre Dame College took an early 7-0 lead and St. Bonaventure came back to even the score when Stephvan Tanner dotted the ball down for a try after a series of tight phase ball inside the Notre Dame 10.
Notre Dame College then added three more tries for a 24-7 halftime lead. Then added four more, plus a penalty kick during the second half with the final score 49-7.
Jason Fox, Head Coach of Notre Dame College, indicated that “the team played well in first half, but did not stick to our system. We were able to play great defense on goal line and countered with some great offensive skill. We were able to overcome our mishaps in our system and get back to playing disciplined rugby. I think when we stuck to our system, they became frustrated. It was a closer game than the score gives.
They were inside our 10 quite a bit but could not capitalize. We did play very good defense, which is what we work on. We were able to sting some phases together and get it out to our backs to finish. We did have a great line out dive from 10 out to score in second half. ”
“Our backs do a great job offensively, however, we have been stressing defense win games and opens up chances on the offensive end. We have a very balanced attack. Any one of the backs can explode along with a very explosive pack when they have the ball in hands! We just have to clean up the rucks early on to play at a higher level.”
Jason complimented St. Bonaventure and it’s head coach Tui Osborne and indicated that “they are well coached! He is an awesome teacher of the game!”
There was not a second side match. This caused both teams to substitute players 45-50 minutes into the match. Fox added “We were able to get a good look at our new players due to expanded roster(30) due to no 2nd side game.”
Tui Osborne said “Even though we didn’t have a B side match, the NDC game gave us an opportunity to give some A side action to the younger players to give them a little taste and what to expect in future games.”
“In order to give players some ample reps against a quality team like Notre Dame College, with a young team that we have, the players need all the reps they can get.”
“We had to many turnovers, which gave NDC opportunities to capitalize and put points on the board. We put together some good phases but couldn’t hold on to the ball.”
For St. Bonaventure, handling errors need to be minimized or a quality team will take advantage and negate an otherwise good performance. The match was already likely decided when the substitutions occurred. Both teams played most of the players on their expanded 30 man rosters. That provided opportunities to see how newer players were able to perform. It also provided the chance to add a few points to a match that was closer than it appeared.
Notre Dame College has sent a message that it is building on last year’s trip to the D1AA National Final. They are an excellent team that I don’t anticipate will be taken lightly.
St Bonaventure continues to develop as a team and should improve as the Rugby EAst season progresses.