Round 6 action, The Fight travelled up to Boston to defeat the Boston 13s by a score of 22 – 16.
Playing in the middle of Boston University at Nickerson Field, the game kicked off at 7pm. The air had cooled off from the previously hot and sticky afternoon making conditions on the turf pitch phenomenal for Rugby League.
Just as Round 5, the match started and remained a very physical contest. Both teams did not disappoint. The Fight had the early advantage as the 13s were penalized early and often. The Fight had the first attempt at points in the 5th minute mark of the match as Boston was penalized in their own twenty and the Fight elected to take the points on offer. However, winger Mike Timpano missed the kick, keeping the tilt scoreless.
It ‘crash and bash’ style of footy continued for the next couple of sets. The Fight were able to work their way up the field through a series of sets with good kicks and strong defense in the middle of the field. Second rowers Jesse Fogg and Fraser Stirling were evident during this play. Both made and took big shots on their respective sides. Fogg was exceptional during this match. He played a full 80 minutes, racking up tackle after tackle and hitup after hitup. His workhorse like effort was enough to receive the honor of Players’ Player for the match.
In the 10th minute, the Fight were able to break the deadlock. A penalty committed by the 13s set the Fight up with a full set of six tackles on the 13s try line. After 4 unimpressive plays, Fight halfback Joel Weeks, threw an impressive 30 meter cut out ball, on the dot, to left winger Timpano who received the pass in stride and was able to dot it down in the left hand corner. Timpano however missed his conversion from the sideline. The Fight led 4 – 0.
On the next set, the Fight were able to cause more penalties from Boston and walk them down the field. Again, the Fight were in a position of a full set of six tackles on Boston’s own 20 yard line. This time, Boston forced an error from the Fight, and the ball was kicked towards the Fight’s try line. In the chase, jostling between Fight 5/8 Rich Henson and 13s hooker Dave Peterson ensued. Peterson, who had a step on Henson arrived at the ball first and kicked it forward again. During the kick, there was contact between Peterson and Henson, and Peterson fell. The referee determined this contact to be a professional foul and sent Henson to the bin for ten minutes.
Boston was able to take over advantage of the controversial call. They scored a try on the left hand side, the side where Henson would have been defending, on the next set. At the 13th minute, the 13s were ahead 6 – 4.
For the next ten minutes, the physical battled continued. Props Josh Vaartjes and Zac Reichenbach, who started his first game this season, were heavily involved, making tackle after tackle. Interchange players, Tristan Sylk and James Coleman came in and had immediate impacts as well. However, their hard work was not enough to stop the 13s from doubling up, and scoring another try. At the 24th minute, Boston went over the whitewash again and led 10 – 4.
After the try, the Fight seemed to gain hold of the match. The next period of play was played down in the Boston half. After two repeat sets on Boston’s goal line, the Fight were able to score through quick feet from fullback Roman Lowery. Timpano was unable to convert. That was the last score of the half.
At halftime, Boston lead 10 – 8. This was the first time the Fight were down at halftime this season. The Fight was faced with a new challenge, coming back from a deficit.
In the opening ten minutes, the arm wrestle continued until Boston were penalized in front of their posts. The Fight took the two points to tie the match up 10 – 10 at the 50th minute mark.
From that point on, the Fight took control of the match. Boston began to show signs of fatigue, making uncharacteristic errors and committing penalties in vulnerable areas of the pitch. The Fight were able to capitalize on these errors through a tackle bust and line break from Vaartjes. The big prop was able to motor 40 meters to score under the posts. Timpano converted. At the 60th minute, the Fight were up 16 – 10.
The Fight were able to add another try just minutes later from Fight debutant Yoann Reynaud. The diminutive youngster was too quick for Boston to handle as he scored a 60 meter try from dummyhalf. Reynaud played well above his weight. His ability to tackle men much bigger than him and his work from dummyhalf, helping the Fight out of their own half and offload abilities, were enough to make him Man of the Match.
At the 70th minute the Fight led 22 – 10.
An individual try was scored by Boston on a brilliant passage of play by fullback Liam Georgetown at the 76th minute. Georgetown took the ball to the line, chipped it and regathered, and Boston was able to score in the right hand corner. However, it was too little too late.
At fulltime the Fight were able to edge out the 13s by a score of 22 – 16.
Tries: Timpano, Lowery, Vaartjes, Reynaud
Goals: Timpano (3 from 6)
Man of the Match: Yoann Reynaud
Players’ Player: Jesse Fogg
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