Virginia Match Report - 5-12-12
Written by Ian McNulty   

Virginia Match Report - 5/12/12

NORFC Green 29 - 21 Virginia

NORFC Green (B) moves on to the USARS D3 Elite 8 

The NORFC Green side faced off against a formidable Virginia squad today in Pittsburgh in the USA Rugby D3 Sweet 16. 

In stark contrast to the many shut-outs and lopsided wins that paved the way to this level, Virginia proved much tougher. The lead would change hands four times and the game very nearly came down to the wire. 

"We played a really good defensive team and had to fight for every inch we took," says Green coach Trip McCormick. "I'm proud of the way this team made adjustments and stepped up to win at this national level of competition. 

Virginia looked like they had the first try but it was called back on a knock-on call. From the next line-out, though, Virginia proved effective in the maul and scored their try. A conversion made it 0-7.

New Orleans got right back at them, however, driving hard behind the opponent's 22. Knock-ons stopped a few promising runs, and Virginia made some good steals from line-outs, and soon New Orleans was on the defense again.

Though we kicked out of trouble and then drove hard again behind the Virginia 22 the opponent again fended us off at the goal line. A later penalty attempt by New Orleans fell short and kept New Orleans scoreless as the first half ticked down. 

But then, from the next line-out, Peter Bell broke the game line, advanced 20 meters and offloaded with defenders hanging on to Jayson DeLeaumont for the try. No conversion, but New Orleans was on the board 5-7.

A few minutes later, in what would prove the last play of the half, David Sage found a hole on Virginia's weak side and rumbled up field, making a clutch pass to Andrew Barlow who made a diving try, no conv, and the half ended 10-7.

Both sides took the field determined to make a statement but a New Orleans knock at the kickoff set up Virginia to score in the corner a few phases later. A good conv, and Virginia was back on top 10-14.

Pressure on Virginia led to another New Orleans penalty attempt which missed, and the midfield slugfest continued. A promising New Orleans run with great coordinated effort was undone by a knock. 

But given a few more chances, and some impact subs, New Orleans knitted together another deep attack, with Eric West shredding the defense and offloading in traffic to DeLeaumont who dove for the try. Jeff Ahelmeyer's conv was good and NOLA was back in the lead 17-14.

Then, after just a few exchanges, a break by Tony Breaux sent the New Orleans side deep into their red zone again, and a chip and chase by Sid Blakemore earned another try.Add another good Ahlemeyer conv and New Orleans was up 24-14.

Though time was running short, Virginia was not about to cede the game, and off a series of costly penalties they soon made their way to New Orleans' door and got another try in, converting to make the game a too-close-for -comfort 24-21 with injury time left to burn 

However, New Orleans would have the last word as a Todd Fitzgerald pitch to Carter O'Brien started things on the right foot and when the ball got to Eric West he broke into a 40 meter run that ended in the try zone and sealed the New Orleans victory 29-21.

Green advances to the USA Rugby Elite 8, facing Cleveland, which won its Sweet 16 round 29-5 today.

Halftime Score - New Orleans B 10 - 7 Virginia

Final Score - New Orleans B  29 - 21 Virginia

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

Pens (0): 
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