Athens Match Report - 4-28-12
Written by Ian McNulty   

Athens Match Report - 4/28/12

NORFC Green 32 - 0 Athens

NORFC Green (B) punches its ticket to Pittsburgh with South semifinal victory 

NORFC Green punched its ticket to the USA Rugby Sweet 16 for the first time today, defeating Athens 32-0 in Little Rock.

The game had a slow start for New Orleans, which led just 5-0 at the half. The win, then, was a story of making adjustments, following a game plan and playing fit and physical. After the restart the squad scored 27 points and denied Athens any chance for a foothold as things opened up. 

New Orleans set the pace from the start but initially saw promising attacks frustrated by penalties. From scrums and broken line outs we  kept taking their ball, though handling errors giving it back inside their 22. 

Given enough opportunities, Athens stages a determined attack and a try was only avoided by holding them up. Some smart play from the subsequent scrum got Green out of their red zone. 

More of the frustrating same ensued until Buck gave us a line out on their 22. In phase play, Corey proved nearly unstoppable in a run, pulling in defenders to open a gap the backs then exploited. A series of clutch offloads gave Ahlmeyer the ball to score. At about 30 minutes in, New Orleans was up 5-0. 

Green kept control of the ball but despite knocking hard could not score again before the half. 

New Orleans was quick to reassert its will, stitching together a long drive that wove back and across the pitch until Barlow and Buck put some moves on outmatched forwards and offloaded to Corey to seal the deal by the uprights. B-rad Gaurisco converted, bringing the lead to 12-0 about three minutes into the half.

A few minutes later the squad was driving again in similar fashion, keeping collective cool heads when moves didn't work out and keeping possession. When New Orleans pinned Athens back behind its 5 we took advantage of a penalty against them with a quick tap that sent Eric Mackintosh rushing in to score. Conversion was wide, score rose to 17-0 with about 20 minutes on the clock. 

Five minutes later, more good defensive and cohesive set pieces gave Green another shot at goal which Barlow took for a diving try at the corner with a defender on his shoulders. Conversion was short, score up 22-0. 

Athens soon exploited a break and seemed destined to score, but good hustle on defense broke them up at our 5. We stole the ball and kicked it out of trouble. 

Another display of teamwork and good hands set up Ahlmeyer for a try, 27-0. 

Athens once again seemed on its way to the scoreboard in the final minutes. But some fantastic work by B-rad reversed things with a vengeance. Scooping the ball up under pressure in our own end zone he raced it down field evading displaced Athens forwards to score untouched. The red blew it up 32-0. 

New Orleans faces Gainesville tomorrow at 10 am to determine the D3 South Champion.  

Halftime Score - New Orleans B 5 - 0 Athens

Final Score - New Orleans B  32 - 0 Athens

New Orleans Green
1) David Sage; 2) Tony Breaux; 3) Mason Briant; 4) Seth Magden; 5) Chris Rogers; 6) Carter O'Brien; 7) Corey Lesassier; 8) Peter Bell; 9) Casey Mackintosh (c); 10) David Buckingham; 11) Andrew Barlow; 12) Eric Mackintosh; 13) Sid Blakemore; 14) Brad Guarisco; 15) Jeff Ahlemeyer; 16) Mike Gibbs; 17) Ryan Lowe; 18) Jerry Zifodya; 19) Joe Palermo; 20) Todd Fitzgerald; 21) Robert Waterwall; 22) Miles Kipper; 23) Ian McNulty 
Tries (6): Ahlemeyer (2), Lesassier, E. Mackintosh, Barlow, Guarisco
Cons (1): Guarisco (1 for 6)

Pens (0):
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