The New Orleans Gold Rugby Club began its exhibition season fielding an A side against the USA Rugby South Panthers on Saturday, December 8 at City Park (Magnolia pitch. For NOLA Gold, the match provided a chance to assess which Academy players might contribute during the Major League Rugby season along with some local players that might be added to the squad. NOLA Gold left with a 45-10 win in the rain with all but one try scored by the forwards.
For the USA Rugby South Panthers, the preseason match against NOLA Gold is a great opportunity for the Panthers to experience the professional level of play and to evaluate several new aspiring players.
Prior to this match, the Pontchartrain Po-Boy Rugby Club defeated Mississippi Gulf Coast Landsharks 26-12 and Krewe Rugby Club lost 44-0 to the Crescent City Blues. Krewe Rugby Club has a young team that went 3-3 in the Robert Markel Cup competition.
A NOLA Gold Rugby vs USA Rugby South match preview is available.
Next Week the Robert Markel Cup Championship will be decided. NOLA Gold And their Academy U-19s will also face Stars Rugby at Gold Stadium.
The match between NOLA Gold Rugby A and the USA Rugby South Panthers was played under monsoon conditions. NOLA Gold built up 33-0 at halftime and extended there lead to 45-10 at fulltime.
NOLA Gold Head Coach Nate Osborne said that the “Rain was the worst I’ve seen in 34 yrs of rugby! But all in all, we played well and controlled most of the game.”
Tries for NOLA Gold Rugby were scored by Matt Harmon, Aiden Ellis, Michael Baska, Billy Stewart, John Sullivan (2) and a penalty try with Michael Baska kicking 4 conversions.
The USA Rugby South had two tries, one by Sam Trammel and the other by Austin Grant.
USA Rugby South Head Coach Rene Daniel said “We came into the match to use territory with the rain and rely on defense however in the first half we failed to use much of the kicking game to our advantage. NOLA did well with the kicking game and the result was very evident in the first half. We also had way too many penalties in the first half allowing New Orleans to get themselves out of trouble on several occasions.”
“At halftime, we needed to regroup and focus on our game plan and play how we wanted to play. This allowed us to score twice using the kicking game and overall I was happy with the second half scoring twice and holding NOLA to one score. With a new offensive and defensive structure to learn in 3 hours on Friday, it took us the entire first half to feel comfortable. New Orleans organization of several practices along with a well-played game plan was their key to success. Their forwards had two driving mauls and one penalty try awarded in another mail that accounted for 17 of their first-half points all coming off penalties by the South at the breakdown.”
NOLA Gold A: 1 Kevin Sullivan 2 Matt Harmon 3 Mason Briant 4 William Waguespack 5 Billy Stewart 6 Daniel Logan 7 John Sullivan 8 Malcolm May 9 Holden Yungert 10 Nick Feakes 11 Shaun Riley 12 Michael Houston 13 Ross Depperschmidt 14 Aidan Elias 15 Michael Baska (C) 16 Thomas Savoie 17 Amro Gouda 18 Manatau Tuifua 19 Caleb Meyer 20 Todd Dupre 21 Gio Lapp 22 Lance Landry 23 Alec Miller 24 Matt Coore 25 David Buckingham
USA Rugby South Panthers: Austin Grant (Augusta), Brandon Aladesuyi (Atlanta Renegades), Brett Walsh (Birmingham), Cameron Tompkins (Western Kentucky U), Charlie Hutchings (Tampa Krewe), Chris Milledge (Houston Sabercats), Cory Truett (Atlanta Old White), Daniel Abuonji (Atlanta Old White), David Winiarczyk (High Country),Gannon Karena (Atlanta Renegades), James Irey (New Orleans), James Wayne (Asheville), Joseph Jackson (Atlanta Renegades), Keenan Kayser (U of Tennessee), Lucas Baistrocchi (Atlanta Old White), Lyall Harrison (Chattanooga), Matt Fontana (Atlanta Renegades), Michael Martinez (Nashville), Nathan Ring (Nashville), Richard Shore (Augusta), Sam Trammel (Atlanta Renegades), Sean Hunt (Atlanta Old White), Stephen Hickey (Augusta), Steven Mendez (Pensacola), Zach Jessell (Pittsburgh Harlequins)
Rene Daniel Head Coach USA Rugby South
Francesco Balsas Coach Atlanta Old White
Renaldo Arroyo Coach Valdosta St U
Pete Redmond Coach Augusta
Fred Reynolds Medical Philly/Whitemarsh
Gary Kent Mgr Columbus/Fort Benning