Fight is now 2-0 on the season with a 60-6 win over the White Plains Wombats.
On a hot and humid afternoon, the Fight faced off against the 2016 expansion team, The White Plains Wombats. Led by USARL Hawk internationals Matt Walsh and Luke Baron, and backed by Hawk captain Mark Offerdahl, the White Plains Wombats came in looking to show the league that their first round win was not a fluke.
The game started off in great fashion for the Philadelphia Fight. After a huge first set in defense and a strong attacking set, the Fight forced a Wombats error on their own goal line. Center Rhys Bowdich scored directly after on his first touch from a hit up off the back of the scrum. The try was converted by Mike Timpano, who went 10 for 10 on the afternoon. For the season, Timpano is perfect, kicking 22 of 22 goals.
The Wombats were able to shake off the early points and got into an arm wrestle with the Fight. Over the next ten minutes, play was largely dominated in the middle of the field many of the Fight’s big men. Dave Wilmore, playing his first game with the Green and Red since the 2014 Grand Final, figured largely during this time period, making heavy yards and tackling his heart out. Later in the match, Wilmore would be forced off and not return due to a rib injury.
The Fight soon scored another try around the 12 minute mark, by way of front rower Josh Vaartjes. Vaartjes added another one later in the second half as well, scoring a double in his first two matches with the Fight. Vaartjes’ celebration would end early as on the next kickoff, as the Fight knocked the ball on during their exit set. The Wombats were able to take advantage of the good field position and scored a try under the sticks by way of some fancy footwork from Wombat halfback Matt Walsh.
This would be the only points for the Wombats, as the Fight began to step the pressure up from here. Over the next 10 minutes, the Fight were able to force errors from the Wombats and began to set up both the left and right side attacks. Philadelphia Fight halfback, Joel Weeks playing his first game for the Fight since the 2013 Championship, was pulling instrumental during this period. He was able to put the r his half partner Rich Henson in position to score two tries, one on a right foot step and one grubber kick from Weeks.
As the halftime bell rang, the Fight lead 24-6.
The second half began a bit shaky for the Fight and the Wombats. Both teams were guilty of sloppy and undisciplined play. The two combatants began committed multiple unforced turnovers as well as giving away penalties. The game began to grow stale until the 53rd minute where a quick dart from Fight hooker, Jared Frymoyer, got the scoreboard clicking over again.
From that moment, on the Fight seemed to gain some composure. The Fight scored 5 more quick tries, two by winger Timpano, one more from Vaartjes and Bowdich and one from fullback Roman Lowery.
“It was good to get this win out of the way,” added Aussie import Jesse Fogg. “We knew they had some skill, as they were able to put up 60 some points in their previous match.” Fogg was outstanding in this match, making multiple hiatus and multiple tackles. His work was enough to make him Man of the Match.
Next week, the Fight head to Wilmington, Delaware to take on the Black Foxes.
Tries: Henson (2), Vaartjes (2), Bowdich (2), Timpano (2), Lowery, Frymoyer
Goals: Timpano (10)
Man of the Match: Jesse Fogg
Players Player: Rhys Bowdich
For Photos, click here (Photos Courtesy of Gene Thorpe, Philadelphia Fight Official Photographer)
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