7NEWS highlights from April 6 OPSB match
Scrum half Shaun Davies 4/24
Back James Paterson 4/22
No. 8 Nic Johnson 4/2
Lock Casey Rock 3/19
Captain Zach Fenoglio 2/25
Raptors battle to draw in Provo
- Published on Tuesday, November 6, 2012
- Written by Phillipa Snyman
The Raptors DI traveled to Utah on Saturday to take on the Provo Steelers in an epic battle of size and endurance. While the Raptors were out-sized by the Steelers, they were not outplayed and their tenacity throughout the game resulted in a 15-15 deadlock and a positive note to end off the fall season.
“I can’t praise my players enough for stepping up and acquitting themselves with everything they had during Saturday’s game,” commented Snyman. “It was a true case of leaving everything on the pitch and my players fought way above their playing weight. By constantly getting up after some ferocious tackles, they showed me their true character and never-give-up attitude,” added Snyman.
A yellow card and two red cards by the Steelers was a true reflection of the intensity that the Provo team brought to the game. However, despite the Steelers playing for 40 minutes with only 13 men, the Raptors could not put more points on the board and secure a win on the road.
First blood went to the Raptors with a penalty kick by rookie wing Cody Melphy in the 13th minute of the game. The Pauga brothers, Zac and Justin, were the two try scorers for the Glendale team. Center Justin took advantage of a wayward Steelers ball and gathered it up to run 40 yards for his try while forward Zac’s was a power play by the team for a well-worked five points in the corner. Melphy was able to convert Justin’s try.
The Steelers scored their two tries off of consistent forward pressure created by pick-and-go charges and drawing Glendale’s defense tight in the midfield, leaving the outer channels exposed. A lack of discipline by the Raptors at the breakdown — not releasing the tackler — gave the Steelers the opportunity to gain a further three points with a successful penalty kick.
The halftime score was deadlocked at 15-15 and this is how the score remained until the final whistle blew. It was in the early stages of the second half that the Steelers received their two red cards and despite the multiple opportunities created for the Raptors by the removal of the two Steelers players, they were not able to capitalize on the deficit in their favor.
“The forwards really showed me their true ability by not crumbling under the pressure of the bigger Provo pack,” said Snyman, “although we were under pressure in the scrum, we managed to keep ball possession and Zac did a phenomenal job at the back of the scrum as 8th man and managed to get over the gainline on numerous occasions,” continued Snyman.
“The players realized that they needed to make big hits if they wanted to be a part of the game and I was pleased with their defensive efforts -- especially from Joash Peko, Zack Kennedy and Douglas Graves,” added Snyman.
“To be honest,” said Snyman, “I thought the overall defense of the team was exceptional.”
Snyman went on to share his thoughts about the way the backs managed the game and held the game plan and structures together. “It was difficult at times for the backs to run our normal patterns due to consistent pressure and ferocious tackles by the Steelers. However, I feel that the backs made the most of what they were able to work with.
“We did manage to break their defensive line at times by good ball carries and smart play. However, we weren’t able to finish the move due to various handling errors,” added Snyman.
“It was encouraging to see our scramble defense after our initial defensive line was broken,” concluded Snyman.
The Raptors DI team has finished the 2012 fall season atop the Western Rugby Football Union West-North league with 13 points. Provo is in second place with 7 points followed by the Kansas City Blues with 5 points.
Training for the spring season will commence in early February with the first game scheduled for early March.
Halftime: Glendale 15, Provo 15
Full time: Glendale 15, Provo 15
Glendale tries: Zac Pauga, Justin Pauga
Conversions: Cody Melphy
Penalty kicks: Cody Melphy
Provo: tries 2, conversions 1, penalty kicks 1