Little Rock Match Report - 2-14-09
Written by Ian McNulty   

The New Orleans Rugby Club recorded its second consecutive victory against Deep South division opponents with a win over the Little Rock Rugby Club.

The Arkansas squad made the long road trip down to Gretna for the match, held on Valentine's Day. The previous night's downpour left the pitch pocked with inch-deep water hazards and a dreary overcast with intermittent drizzles ensured the game would become a mud fest.

Despite the poor ground conditions, the New Orleans backline set a fast, aggressive pace for the game right out of the gates, scoring a try from the first possession soon after kick off. Slick conditions sabotaged many would-be breaks while a plague of missed passes stripped New Orleans of some promising opportunities, but the home team never relinquished its lead.

The New Orleans scrum with hooker David Thorburn was able to take ball possession from Little Rock on several occasions while effective support between forwards and backs paid off throughout the game. For instance, flyhalf Ricky Decastro found a gap on the weak side and made a break, offloading to prop Matt Upton who charged the ball in over the last 40 meters, outrunning the Little Rock wing. Little Rock capitalized on a few penalties and pounded in a try toward the end of the first half.

Little Rock scored another try in the second half, again off a New Orleans penalty that left them with good field position. But as the game progressed the New Orleans lead steadily and convincingly expanded. Strategic kicking kept Little Rock in its own half for most of the final 40 minutes, opening numerous scoring opportunities. While passing remained less than expert, an overall high intensity level carried the day and brought the final score to 36-10.

The win brings New Orleans to 2-0 for the season thus far as it heads into an off-weekend break and the Mardi Gras holiday. The club next travels to Jackson for a road game on Feb. 28.
Copyright © 2010 New Orleans Rugby Football Club. All Rights Reserved.  A busbeepbeep production. Some images by Mark Steve Guillory.