Shreveport Match Report - 12-4-10
Written by Ian McNulty   

Shreveport Match Report - 12/4/10

NORFC 50 - Shreveport 29

The NORFC had long anticipated Saturday's game against Shreveport. It had been quite a while since these two cross-state rivals had played, and although the teams are in different divisions the players understood the victor would have bragging rights as Louisiana's top rugby team.

New Orleans made the trip with just over 20 players, coach Seyi and some enthusiastic supporters.

Shreveport weather was cool, dry and overall perfect, and both teams were raring to get at each other by the noon kickoff.

New Orleans set the pace early, recovering the ball after Shreveport muffed the kickoff reception. A few rucks later, Matt Upton received the ball from Kevin Kern and bulled it in through a knot of defenders to score within the first two minutes of play. Andrew Quackenbos made the conversion, the first in a productive day for him.

A few minutes later Quack made a penalty kick bringing the score to 10-0. A series of penalties and knocks by both teams kept the ball between the 22 meter lines for a while. But soon Quack completed another penalty and the score was 13-0 within the first 20 minutes of the game.

But if the New Orleans sideline was beginning to smell a rout, Shreveport soon dispelled that notion. A back from the home team made a break around half field, New Orleans missed tackles and Shreveport was on the board, 13-7.

New Orleans was quick to answer, courtesy of an interception by Ryan Fitzgerald behind the Shreveport 22, which resulted in a try by Joe Palermo a moment later and another conversion after that.

A further penalty kick by Quack restored the New Orleans lead to 23-7. But again Shreveport bounced back. The home team soon had a penalty kick opportunity, though when the ball bounced off the goal post they recovered it inside the New Orleans red zone and nearly scored a try on the play before being driven out of bounds. A New Orleans knock inside their own try zone gave Shreveport another opportunity to score and this time they capitalized on it with a try off a 5-meter scrum. It was 23-14 nearing the end of the half, but Shreveport's rally wasn't over. They recovered a loose ball inside the New Orleans red zone, scored and converted again to bring the tally to 23-21 at the half whistle.

Momentum had clearly shifted from New Orleans' early run-up, but coach Seyi used halftime to refocus and reenergize the squad, which returned to the pitch with new vigor and coordination.

The hits were harder, the breaks were better exploited and New Orleans quickly reaffirmed its determination to prevail.

Quack was good on an early opportunity for a penalty kick. A few plays later, Rob Hoffman broke the Shreveport line, offloaded to Jeff Reuther who extended the run and in turn offloaded to David Buckingham who pulled away from defenders to score under the uprights. With a conversion the New Orleans lead was back to 10 points.

Soon, the New Orleans pack spun their opponents. Hoffman had the ball again and sliced defenders to score. Another penalty kick and New Orleans had built a 43-21 margin over Shreveport with 20 minutes left in the game.

Seyi began deploying reserves in the forwards and backs to inject fresh legs for the final push. On the next play, another Hoffman break lead to a set piece of close support as the ball went to Reuther, to Seth Stevenson and to Joel McLain for the score. Quack added the exclamation point with a conversion, bringing him to 10 of 11 on the day and the score to 50-21.

Shreveport once again proved they would not lay down, racking up a penalty kick and exploiting New Orleans missed tackles to score a try as the game's last play.

The final whistle saw a score of 50-29 and jubilant New Orleans as the victors.

Final Score - New Orleans 50 - Shreveport 29

Copyright © 2010 New Orleans Rugby Football Club. All Rights Reserved.  A busbeepbeep production. Some images by Mark Steve Guillory.