USA Rugby South Defeat Hungary
USA Rugby South opened their three-match Central European Tour with a 35-12 win over the Hungarian National team in Szazhalombatta, just outside of Budapest. The match video is available on the Sport Live Facebook page.
The USA Rugby South Panthers had the first opportunity to put points on the board, but the penalty kick by flyhalf Lucas Baistrocchi was wide of the posts. Soon after, Panther fullback and Life University head coach Colton Cariaga broke his arm and will miss the rest of the tour.
With Cariaga’s injury, outside center Zach Blalock shifted to fullback and quickly scored in the corner. The conversion was missed, leaving the score at 5-0. The score was the offensive spark that the Panthers needed. The Panthers overcame Hungarian counter-rucking and scrumhalf Zach Miller got quick ball to the backs. He also capped a drive with multiple phases, scoring in front of the posts.
The Panthers pushed their lead to 19-0 in the 30th minute as outside center Irving Carcamo added a try in the corner. For the remainder of the half, Hungary maintained majority possession, keeping the Panthers under pressure. The Panthers defense was superb during this time and kept Hungary from scoring, taking a 19-0 lead into the break.
Panthers Head Coach Rene Daniel Comments
The Panthers were able to keep the initiative due to an effective defensive scheme. “Our line speed really was faster and more physical than it has been in the past. The defensive scheme, implemented by player/coach Cariaga, is designed to force the offense to make mistakes, and it really works.”
Second Half: USA Rugby South vs. Hungary
Hungary kept up the momentum from the end of the first half with their veteran, physical front rowers leading the charge. The team was able to find a gap and this resulted in a converted try in the 44th minute, cutting the lead to 19-7.
The Panthers then swapped out their front row with young players and South’s backs coach Renaldo Arroyo felt that “the youth movement provided pace that reinvigorated the team. That allowed us the platform once again for attack and defense.”
The Panthers defense continued to be stellar, shutting down a Hungarian attack. The South was also able to take advantage of Hungarian penalties with Lucas Baistrocchi slotting two kicks to increase the lead to 25-7. Baistrocchi then added two tries, on short breakaways, pushing the score to 35-7. Hungary added a late try in the corner with a sustained attack at the final whistle, leading to a final score of 35-12.
“The bench really helped us today,” according to Coach Daniel. “In the past, we have had a drop off when we put our substitutes in— today they played as well as the starters. I’m really proud of their performance.”
USA Rugby South: Tries – Blalock (10th), Miller (19th), Carcamo (30th), Baistrocchi (66th, 74th) Penalties – Baistrocchi (2), Conversions – Baistrocchi (2) (19th, 30th)
Hungary: Tries (2), Conversion 1
The USA Rugby South now turn their attention to the August 29th match against Austria and September 1 match against the Czech Republic.
Rene Daniel Post Match USA Rugby South vs Hungary Interview
Click on play and then in the lower right corner of the video, raise the volume.