ST. WARRENTON, VA-The rugby Tigers played in near blizzard conditions to squeak out a narrow 14-10 victory over the Cannons of Lord Fairfax Community College.
Possession traded hands numerous times due to a wet ball, muddy field, and numb hands. Neither team was able to mount a sustained attack, and there were multiple turnovers at the rucks and mauls. Numerous off-sides penalties against Hampden-Sydney were doubly damaging because the Tigers failed to move quickly back to an on-sides penalty; the Tigers ultimately drew two yellow cards due to repeated infractions – at one time playing down two men.
Lord Fairfax Community College got on the board at the 20 meter mark, capitalizing on Hampden-Sydney penalties, but failed to convert for the two additional points. The Tigers responded with new intensity, winning back possession using their kicking game and weak fielding skills by the Cannons to set up a focused attack, and a try scored by Thomas Calderwood at the 27th minute. Everton Batista converted the kick moving the Tigers ahead 7-5.
Just five minutes into the second half Lord Faiffax again capitalized on Hampden-Sydney penalties and notched five additional points with a second try. Again the Tigers rallied. Tiger forwards utilized a series of rolling rucks ultimately placing Adam Florian in position for what would be the winning try. Florian was able to center the ball, giving Batista an easy conversion kick.
As the snowstorm gathered steam, the two teams lost theirs. Possession traded between frozen hands multiple times and neither team managed to string together more than three phases off the scum downs or line outs.
Hampden-Sydney returns to action in matrix play versus Virginia Commonwealth University on February 18, in Richmond, Virginia.